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Roasted whole whitefish with charmoula and French green lentils

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Roasted whole whitefish with charmoula and French green lentils

Charmoula

1

Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and pound it into a paste, or mash together on a cutting board. Transfer the paste to a food processor and process with the pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, chile flakes, paprika, cumin, parsley and cilantro. Refrigerate overnight. Makes 1 cup.

Lentils

1

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, garlic and carrot in 2 tablespoons olive oil until they begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

2

Add the lentils and 2 cups of water and season with one-half teaspoon of salt and one-eighth teaspoon of pepper. Cover the pan and simmer gently over low heat until the lentils are al dente, about 45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook as lentils will quickly turn mushy. Drain any excess water.

3

Toss the lentils with the parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Adjust the seasoning and reserve. (The lentils may be made ahead of time and stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.)

Roasted whole whitefish and assembly

1

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season the fish inside and out with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the fish (diagonally if necessary) on a baking sheet. Roast until firm to the touch or a thermometer registers 130 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the fish, about 25 minutes.

2

Carefully remove the head and tail and debone the fish. Reassemble the fish on a platter with the head and tail, spoon the lentils around the fish and charmoula over the top. Garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately.

Adapted from “Jewish Cooking for All Seasons” by Laura Frankel. The charmoula should be prepared at least a day in advance and keeps for up to 5 days.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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