Whole Roasted Bronzini with Roasted Tomato and Garlic Ragu

  • 1 bronzini, guts and scales removed
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 5-6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, cut in wheels
  • Extra thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pittedprovenceolives, chopped
  • Chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the tops of the garlic off using a shark knife.  Every clove in the head should be exposed.  Place the garlic cut side up on a large sheet of tin foil.  Pour olive oil over them so that it seeps down into each clove.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Fold up the sides of the foil and seal the edges, making a tight package.  Place the packet in a baking dish and place it in the oven.  Roast the garlic for about 1 hour or until the garlic turns golden brown and the cloves pop up out of the shell.  They should be very soft and tender when pierced with a knife.

Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the cores.  In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, shallot, thyme, enough olive oil to coat and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.  Place the tomatoes cut side up on a large baking try and roast them for 45-60 minutes or until they are tender and caramelized.

When the garlic and the tomatoes are finished cooking, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly.  Scoop the garlic from the husk and place it in a medium sauce pot.  Remove the skins from the tomatoes and roughly chop the flesh, adding it, as well any juice or oil on the baking sheet, to the garlic.  Mix well and add the chicken stock.  Reduce over medium heat until thick and flavorful.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

For the fish:  Open the gutted cavity of the fish and insert the wheels of lemon and the remaining thyme into the open pocket.  Rub the fish all over with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.  Place it on a baking tray and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140°F.  Remove the fish and rest it for 5-10 minutes.

To serve, place the fish on top of the finished ragu in a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle the olives and the parsley over the top and serve immediately.


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