Baked Striped Bass with Fennel and Pernod
The addition of fennel in this preparation adds a richer dimension to this delicate fish.
Yield: serves 4
- 4 whole farm-raised striped bass, 1 1⁄2 lbs. each, cleaned and scaled
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp. coarse salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup Pernod, warmed
- Preheat oven to 400°. Place fish on a lightly oiled sheet pan and score diagonally on each side with 4 evenly spaced slits, about 2 1⁄2" long and 1⁄2" deep. Gently tuck a piece of fennel in each opening. Sprinkle fennel seeds, salt, and pepper inside and all over each fish.
- Brush each fish with olive oil and bake until flesh is firm, about 5 minutes. Place under broiler until skin is crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly transfer fish to individual plates or a large platter. While fish is still hot, pour 2 tbsp. of warmed Pernod on each fish, hold plate away from your body, and carefully ignite. Serve flaming.