Before traveling abroad, I had been trying to incorporate more fish into my diet. Not surprising to me, the prices of fresh fish and intimidation factor of cooking something so different limited my progress in meeting that goal. But as soon as I tasted whole grilled fish in Lisbon, fresh paella in Barcelona, and another whole grilled fish in Paris, I knew I had to make more of an effort. The whole sea bass I had in Lisbon was so simply grilled, embellished with only roasted potatoes and a small iceberg lettuce salad on the side. The fish itself was the main event, and for good reason. It was so light and tender, satisfying but not overly satiating. The skin was slightly crispy and perfectly salty. I had to recreate it at home! And surprisingly, it wasn't costly or difficult at all! Whole sea bass happened to be on sale at Whole Foods, so I took it as a sign that now was the time to get over my intimidation of cooking fish and decided to try to recreate my favorite Portuguese meal. For $7, yes, only $7, I roasted an entire sea bass! I wanted to grill it like they had at the restaurant, but unfortunately since we just moved, we haven't bought a propane tank for our grill yet. But roasting it in the oven was actually so incredibly easy that I'll be sure to roast fish just as often as I grill it even when we have our new tank. So, moral of the story- don't be intimidated in trying something new in the kitchen! What's the worst that can happen? It doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to, so you try again! Sounds like fun to me:) I have spent so many years avoiding cooking fish... and now that I know how easy it was, I wish I had just tried to do it the first time I thought about it! I guess I just needed a trip to Lisbon:)

roasted whole sea bass

1 lb whole sea bass (ask your butcher to clean out the organs, etc.- Although I knew I wanted to roast the whole fish and de-bone myself as I ate it, I made the mistake of refusing the offer for the fish to be cleaned because I thought that they would remove the bones, but when I opened up the fish I realized it wasn't exactlyyyyyyy as clean as the ones I had eaten abroad haha)
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Rinse your fish well and then coat with olive oil, and then salt generously. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes, then broil on high for about 2-3 minutes until the top is slightly charred. Serve with roasted potatoes (Bake quartered potatoes at 425 for 20 minutes, flipping half way-I seasoned mine with thyme and salt!) and you're good to go! It's that easy!

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