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Grilled Whole Branzino

A grilled whole fish is the perfect al fresco and summer food. Branzino, also called sea bass or European bass, is a flaky white fish that is mild in flavor. In the summertime I like to eat lighter and white fish is a beautiful protein to offer that lightness. I like to pair it with lemon, dill and a nice crisp glass of white wine.

For those of you who get freaked out by seeing the head, you can ask your fishmonger to remove it. You can also remove it at home and save it for a delicious fish stock.

Why whole fish versus the filet? The same with cooking a bone-in pork chop or steak, the bone imparts a lot of flavor. Additionally the juiciness and flakiness cannot be matched by cooking just the filets. This has to do with the lemon steaming and infusing the fish from the inside.

A typical branzino weights 1-1.5 pounds. One fish can feed 2 people if you have other sides and want just a small portion.

Courses ,
Time
Prep Time: 5 5 mins Cook Time: 10 10 mins Total Time: 15 mins
Servings 2
Best Season Summer
Description

Grilled branzino with crispy skin infused with lemon and dill. 

Ingredients
  • 1 Whole Branzino (1-1.5 lb)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Sprig of Dill (substitute parsley)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Branzino

    Ask your fishmonger to gut and trim the branzino. Pat it dry and season the inside cavity with salt and pepper. Generously drizzle on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Place slices of lemon and the dill in the inside cavity.  

  2. Grill the fish

    Heat up your grill or grill pan on medium high. Gently lay the fish on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the fish over, using the head to avoid tearing the meat. If the skin is sticking let cook another minute. The skin will lift away from the grill once it is browned and cooked. 

    Remove from the grill and serve with more lemon.