Wood-Grilled Branzino (European Seabass)




Yield: 2 generous dinner portions (can be easily increased)

Grilled whole branzino (European seabass) served with a fresh summer salad tossed in a light vinaigrette ~ delightful! It’s easy, too. Here’s how to prepare your whole fish …

Ingredients (if preparing for two people):

  • 2 branzino (1 per person), whole, cleaned & scaled
  • 2 whole lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 reserved for garnish
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Mediterranean oregano, dried
  • Calabrian red chile flakes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt (Sicilian Trapani sea salt is nice.)
  • Optional: You can prepare your fish Greek style by seasoning with 2-3 tablespoons Greek Seasoning by Merchant Spice Co. and Isle of Cyprus flaky sea salt, to taste (NOTE: Available in Merchant Spice Co.’s Artisan Salts of the World Collection)
  • NOTE: Fresh fennel or rosemary sprigs, even sage leaves, are also lovely stuffed inside the fish. The mild white meat of the branzino easily takes on the delightful flavors of the herbs.
Rub the inside and outside of the branzino with oil and season with oregano, red chile flakes and sea salt. Then, stuff the inside cavity of each fish with 1/2 of the lemon slices and 1/2 of the sliced garlic. The fish can marinate for 2-4 hours.
Prepare your grill. We grill the fish Mediterranean style over a hot coal fire (with the fire set low in the grill so that it doesn’t burn your delicate fishes), which blisters the skin and seals in the deliciously moist meat of this sweet white ocean fish. Grill for about 8-10 minutes on each side until done. Allow the fish to rest for about 5 minutes, then serve with a green salad in a vinaigrette with lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.
Alternatively, you can roast the fish in a heavy skillet or roasting pan in the oven at 375°F for about 20-25 minutes until done, then let it rest for another 5 minutes before serving on a platter garnished with fresh herbs & citrus slices to squeeze over the fish.

To accompany:

  • Thickly sliced artisan bread
  • Tomato & lettuce salad with thinly sliced red onion and sliced olives, tossed in a lively vinaigrette

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