The best way to cook mild-flavored, itty-bitty Atlantic butterfish is via the technique used by chef James Mitchell at the Midtown Oyster Bar in Newport, Rhode Island: liberally seasoned with dried herbs, then roasted in a hot oven over a bed of tomatoes, fennel, and garlic. His method works well with any small, white-fleshed fish. For more ways to cook whole fish, check out our favorite fish recipes.
Featured in: "The 2020 Saveur 100."
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored and cut into ½-in. slices
- 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
- ½ cups plus 2 Tbsp. robust extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 whole Atlantic butterfish (1½ lb.), cleaned, fins removed
- ¼ cups dry vermouth
- 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped Italian parsley
- Crusty Italian bread, for serving