This recipe was originally developed by our inspirational chef Jamie Oliver for his 30 minute meals. Usually we never take a recipe and just cook accordingly but change it here and there and sometimes so much that only the name of the dish remains the same.
Here we just took it and made it. The recipe is originally made with sardines but it goes greatly with other small fish like cod or smelts either. We took smelts, we love this fish for its almost sweet tender taste.
4-5 small fish, scaled and gutted (about 85 g each) 4 garlic cloves 1 lemon 1 fresh red chilli a bunch of flat-leaf parsley 1 teaspoon fennel seeds extra virgin olive oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Place your fish into a large baking tray.
Smash and roughly chop your garlic and add it your baking tray. Squeeze a whole lemon over the fish and add the halves to the tray, cut side up. A tip how to easily squeeze a lemon (particularly important for women): roll a lemon at the table, pressing it down with your hand. It will soften and the juice will just come out at once as you cut it!
Finely slice your chilly, remember to deseed it if you don't like your fish too hot, and add the chilly to the baking tray.
Take your parsley, chop the stalks, reserve the leaves. Add the chopped stalks together with fennel seeds to the baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly groung black pepper and generously add good quality olive oil.
Now toss the fish with your hands, so that all you've added to the tray gives the most of their flavor to the fish. Place the tray to the top shelf of the oven and roast your fish for around 15 minutes until it's golden and crispy.
Serve with a simple vegetable side salad. Just take any fresh vegetables that you have in your fridge, chop them along with the parsley leaves that you reserved earlier and dress them squeezing the juice remaining in roasted lemons.
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