Now that it officially feels like Spring, I am immediately anticipating Summer. One of my favorite meals is a whole fish, grilled, and drenched in lemony olive oil and oregano. For some reason, it always seems difficult to re-create outside of Greece... though I am always trying. Two things I have learned: you have to get Greek olive oil and you have to get Greek oregano. (This is serious business...) Until it is warm enough to grill, I like to roast the fish in the oven, and briefly crisp it under the broiler to get a bit of char.
You have to salt your fish well, all over the skin and inside the cavity, and when it comes off the grill or oven, place it in a serving dish and pour the latholemono (olive oil and lemon) over it while the fish is still hot. When you are buying the whole fish, you can ask the fishmonger to clean it, leaving the head and tail on, but deboning the fish. If you want to be really authentic, then leave the fish intact and go through the process of deboning it yourself, after it's cooked.
Roasted Whole Fish
4 whole fish, such as Porgies or Branzinos cleaned of scales, head and tail intact.
Salt and pepper
1/4 lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon Greek oregano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet, just enough to generously cover it.
Rub the fish with a bit of olive oil and dust it with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides.
Roast in the oven for 25 minutes if it is a smaller fish, (such as the Porgy) and for 35 if it is a Branzino.
Turn on the broiler and place the fish directly under the heat source for 1 minute, or until the skin is bubbly and crisp on one side.
Whisk all of the ingredients for the latholemono and pour over the roasted fish.
Traditionally, this is served with boiled greens, dressed with olive oil and lemon.