In the summer, my family always grills whole fish stuffed with lemons and herbs until they’re charred and smoky and flaky and perfect. We serve them along with asparagus that’s crisped on the corner of the grill, and some boiled potatoes or corn. It’s my family’s version of the perfect summer barbecue, light but hearty, and just so happy and comforting.
Back at work in London, I wanted to find a way to recreate the summer grilled fish magic for me and Mr. English. My oven-roasted version is the ultimate easy weeknight feast stand-in. I stuff two whole rainbow trout with olive oil, huge bundles of mossy lemon thyme, and windowpanes of sliced lemon. I roast them on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with a mess of baby new potatoes and asparagus. Just leave them all together in the oven for 25 minutes and come back to crisp potatoes, charred asparagus, and juicy, flaky, herbaceous trout.
Two nights ago, as Mr. English sat down at the table, I put a plate with a whole fish and a garden of vegetables in front of him. He told me to bring my plate and he’d split it with me. When I told him it was all his and that I had my own, he was disarmingly thrilled. It’s a feast full of healthy, easy, fast, and hearty flavor.
From my weekly column Dinner for Two on Serious Eats. Check it out every Friday!
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and halved
- 1 pound baby new potatoes, halved
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 whole rainbow trout, scaled, gutted, and gilled by your fishmonger
- Half a lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the asparagus and potatoes on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
Rub the trouts inside and out with the remaining tablespoons of olive oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavitites of the two trout with the lemon slices and fresh thyme. Arrange the two fish on the baking sheet with the vegetables so that everything is in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and tender and the fish is cooked through. Serve immediately.print this recipe