and the Providence Journal bring you Small Bites: Easy-to-Digest Recipes. Roasted whole fish, such as branzino, is often found on restaurant menus, but it isn’t as commonly cooked at home. And that’s too bad, because it can be relatively affordable and foolproof to prepare, says Stuart Meltzer, owner of Fearless Fish, a new seafood market on the West Side of Providence.

For our latest Small Bites video, resident chef Nikhil Naiker demonstrates how to roast a whole Point Judith scup, served with chimichurri sauce. The recipe works just as well with black bass, which Meltzer also sources locally.

Roasted Whole Fish With Chimichurri 

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tablespoon salt 

- 1 teaspoon sugar 

- 1 lemon, juiced 

- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 

- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons reserved 

- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced

- 1 bunch parsley, chopped

- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 

- 2 whole fish, about 1 pound each, scaled, gilled and gutted (have your fishmonger do this for you)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

To make the chimichurri, add the garlic into a medium-size bowl and mix with the salt and sugar. Let this sit for a few minutes. Add the lemon juice, mix, and then let the garlic marinate in the lemon juice. Add the red wine vinegar and 3/4 cup of olive oil, and whisk until well combined. Add more salt to taste, if needed.

Add the scallions and parsley to the oil and vinegar mixture. Let it sit and begin preparing the fish.

Pat the fish dry with a paper towel before drizzling with the reserved 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Place the fish inside a preheated oven on the middle rack. Set the timer for 10 minutes. 

Check the fish after 10 minutes. The fish is done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees or when the fish flakes apart easily and the flesh turns from translucent to opaque. Cook longer if necessary. Once done, transfer the fish to a plate and top with chimichurri. Garnish with fresh parsley and dill. Serve with crusty bread if desired. 

Serves: 2