Chef Chris Cosentino’s educational and inspirational tool for those who are interested in learning about and cooking with offal.

Who says I only cook meat!

The website Tasting Table Everywhere asked me recently if I only cook meat and offal and my response was, “hell no I love fish and fish offal”. After our talk about fish offal and cooking whole fish I was asked for my thoughts on over fishing, and how people could learn more of how to cook fish offal.

To read the article continue after the break.


Chris Cosentino turns his nose-to-tail wisdom to seafood

San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino is known for using every last vestige of the animals he cooks at his Italian restaurant, Incanto, where head-to-tail specialties such as pig’s trotters, beef heart and lamb brains fill the menu. But anyone who’s sampled Cosentino’s famous Chilies and Bones dish (made from meaty ahi-tuna spine) knows his offal mastery also extends to seafood.

The Rhode Island native grew up clamming and eating local catches; he believes the whole-animal approach is the best way to treat a threatened food source like fish. Plus, he says, we’re missing out on some of the best parts (linguini with grated tuna heart and cod-sperm crostini have appeared on his menu).

But when it comes to cooking a whole fish at home, Cosentino eschews organs and innards in favor of no-nonsense recipes like this roasted striped bass with salmoriglio, a tangy herb-based Sicilian condiment. Making a whole fish isn’t only an easy way to feed a crowd, Cosentino says, it’s also easy on the cook. In other words: less guts, more glory.

Roasted Whole Striped Bass with Salmoriglio
Adapted from Chris Cosentino, Incanto
Makes 6 servings

¼ cup thyme leaves, coarsely chopped (stems reserved)
¼ cup oregano leaves, coarsely chopped (stems reserved)
1 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (stems reserved)
2 garlic cloves, passed through a garlic press or mashed with a mortar and pestle
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of one lemon
½ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

One 5-pound striped bass, cleaned
4 each reserved stems of thyme, oregano and parsley
8 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, thinly slices
1 medium red onion, sliced in ¼-inch rings
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a bowl, mix the herbs with the garlic and olive oil. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500°. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
3. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Trim off the fins.
4. Scatter the herb stems, bay leaves and garlic on the baking sheet. Place a row of lemon slices down the center of pan; reserve one slice. Place half of the onion slices over the lemon slices. Place the fish over the onions and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the remaining onions on top of fish. Drizzle with olive oil and place the remaining slice of lemon on top of fish. Cover with foil and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve the fish whole, with the salmoriglio sauce on the side.

Leave a Comment (4)

  1. Dear Signor Cosentino,

    I plan to move to the Emilia Romagna for a year and I am currently trying to decide whether to live in Imola or another city. I understand you are familiar with this region in Italy and Imola and wanted to ask what you think of this city and region of Italy?

    Thank you in advance for the reply.


    Anna | | Reply