Whole Roasted Arctic Char with Fennel and Pistou

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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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


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


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 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.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Serve at room temperature with grilled or roasted fish.
  2. Yield: 1 cup