For the fish and fennel
- 1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs
- 1 red onion, sliced into thin wedges
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the stuffing and to drizzle
- 1 lemon, juiced, plus wedges to serve
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 4 medium whole red mullet, about 350g each, gutted, scaled and washed
- crusty bread, to serve
For the stuffing
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Remove any fronds from the fennel and reserve. Trim the tips – they are coarse – quarter the bulb(s) and trim the base of each piece. Slice the fennel lengthways into slim wedges, about 5mm at the thickest part. Toss in a roasting tin or a 30cm shallow, flameproof casserole with the onion, salt and pepper, the olive oil and lemon juice. Bake for 15 mins.
Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing with seasoning and a little olive oil (the mixture should be moist, but not sloppy). Season the cavities of the fish, then fill with the stuffing, pushing it up into the heads to get plenty inside. Put the fish on top of the partly baked vegetables, season, then drizzle with olive oil. Scatter over the fennel fronds.
Bake for 20 mins. The flesh should be opaque near the bone at the thickest part – not at all glassy – and the vegetables tender. Serve with lemon wedges and the bread.