Whole Roasted Arctic Char with Fennel and Pistou

Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
40 min

4 servings

  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole arctic char, gutted and scaled, gills and fins removed, head and tail intact
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 handfuls mixed fresh herbs (basil, thyme, tarragon)
  • 1 small bulb fennel, sliced, fronds reserved
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 recipe Pistou, recipe follows
  • Pistou:
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 vine-ripe tomato, seeded, and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Rinse the fish well inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the big-boy out on a large rimmed sheet pan; cut 4 gashes crosswise on both sides of the fish, slicing all the way down to the bone. Season the arctic char with a generous amount of salt and pepper, inside the cavity and all over the skin. Stuff the mixed herbs and fennel inside the body of the fish. Tuck a lemon slice and bay leaf inside each of the slats. Rub a decent amount of olive oil on all parts of the fish. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the fish itself is flaky. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with Pistou sauce.

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Serve at room temperature with grilled or roasted fish.

  • Yield: 1 cup

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