Marc Vetri's Roasted Whole Snapper (Vetri and Amis, Philadelphia)
Credit: Photograph by Christopher Testani

"This looks impressive," Marc Vetri says of this beautiful roasted fish, "but it's really easy. You just put everything together – arti­chokes, potatoes, rosemary, lemon – then make a sauce right in the pan with the fish drippings." Vetri offers a Seven Fishes tasting menu at Amis a few days before Christmas. Last year, it sold out in an hour.

Roasted Whole Snapper Recipe
(Serves 2–3)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 baby artichokes (about 12 oz total)
  • 1 whole red snapper (about 2 lbs) or other flat fish (striped bass, orata), gutted and cleaned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fish stock (or water)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chives

Step One
Preheat oven to 500°F.

Step Two
Fill a stainless steel or other nonreactive bowl with 4 cups water and add lemon juice. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off tough outer green leaves until you are left with a small, bullet-shaped artichoke with pale yellow leaves that turn green at the tips. Cut off tips crosswise. Cut stem flush with the bottom of the artichoke so that no green remains, then cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard any choke. Toss the halves into the lemon water.

Step Three
Season fish cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with lemon slices and rosemary.

Step Four
Drizzle a few tsp olive oil into a large roasting pan, and put fish in pan.

Step Five
Drain artichokes, and place them around the fish along with potato slices.

Step Six
Drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil over fish and vegetables. Scatter 2 tbsp butter around pan, and season vegetables with salt and pepper.

Step Seven
Bake 30 minutes, or until the fish is translucent when tested near the backbone.

Step Eight
Remove pan from oven and douse with wine. That should start to loosen the vegetables and fish from the bottom. Shake pan until everything is loose. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the fish to a platter.

Step Nine
Put pan of vegetables over low heat and cook until wine is reduced. Stir in remaining 3 tbsp of oil, remaining 2 tbsp of butter, and stock, vinegar, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until liquids combine and sauce looks creamy.

Step Ten
Pour sauce and vegetables over fish and serve.