Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grilled Branzino

We had dinner at Singer’s house last week.  We spent a lovely evening dining on her porch sipping fruit-infused prosecco as the sun peaked through the wisteria-laced pergola.  Our gracious hostess was busy preparing the pièce de résistance.

We could not wait to eat.

She made grilled branzino, European sea bass.   This little silver fish with a white belly typically weighs about two pounds. Its low in fat and the white meat is firm and tasty with very few bones that are easy to remove.

Branzino, also known as spigole in Italy, lubina or róbalo in Spain, and loup de mer in France can be baked, poached or grilled.  Singer grilled her two little treasures for 10 minutes on each side after rubbing each with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper and filling the cavity with herbs.  She presented the whole fish slathered with a simple parsley verde.

For the parsley verde mix together:

1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Bunch of chopped parsley
Dash of hot pepper flakes
Dash of kosher or sea salt

Drizzle on fish before serving.  This sauce perfectly balanced the sweetness of the fish.

To serve the branzino, cut off the tail and place a slit near the head. Carefully insert a paring knife into the back and gently pull the flesh away from the backbone. The bones of this fish are very soft and some dissolve during cooking, keeping the meat flavorful and moist.

This is fancy (but easy) fish eating indeed…definitely not the boxed fish-fare served up courtesy of some craggy old dude in a yellow rain slicker!

We also had roasted potatoes, field greens, fig, cherry and blue cheese salad and a luscious bottle of red wine.  For dessert…fresh strawberries with coconut gelato. 

A perfect late spring evening.

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