obama inauguration night dinner: whole yellowtail snapper, orange, fennel, black olive.
Crank up you oven to it’s highest temperature. Thinly slice a few bulbs of fresh fennel, and keep the fennel fronds handy. Supreme three or four oranges, squeezing the juice out of the leftover membrane. (The Cara Cara oranges I’m getting right now are awesome, but go with what’s good where you are.) Halve some pitted black olives.
Get yourself a whole gutted and scaled yellowtail snapper of about 2 pounds. Any small fish with relatively firm flesh will do. Slather the fish in olive oil and season with salt, inside and out. Stuff the cavity of the fish with a few half-circular slices of orange, some sliced fennel, and some fennel fronds. Score the flesh a couple of times in the middle of the fish, the short way. Place the fish on a wire rack set in a sheet pan and put it in the oven.
While the fish roasts, toss together the sliced fennel, the orange sections and their juice, some black olives, and some chopped up fennel fronds with olive oil and salt. Allow the fennel salad to sit at room temperature while the fish finishes cooking.
Once the fish firms up and begins to become flaky—about 20 minutes, but there are a ton of variables here—remove it from the oven and carefully transfer to a serving platter. Plate it up at the table on top of the fennel salad.