It is a general rule with any protein dish that cooking it bone-in (versus fillet) will yield lots more flavor. Whole Branzino is one of my husband’s absolute favorite things to feast on. If you’ve never prepared whole fish – don’t be afraid. It’s easier than you think!
This recipe serves 2, with 1 fish per person as a main course.
What you’ll need:
– 2 whole Branzino, cleaned (about 1lb each)
– 1 bag Artichoke Bottoms, thawed and sliced
– 1 pint Grape Tomatoes, left whole
– 1 lemon halved (slice 1 half and leave the other half as is)
– a second lemon, juiced
– a handful cilantro, leaves picked from the stems
– 6 cloves garlic, sliced
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Spice Mix (Paprika, Cumin, Coriander, Salt, Black Pepper) *I make this spice mix myself, use any measurement you want of each. It’s meant to be flavorful.
First, Prepare the fish:
– I always soak any fish I buy for 30 minutes before I prepare it. I find it takes away the “fishy” flavor. Throw your Branzino into a large bowl filled with cold water and ice and 3 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice. Let the Branzino hang out for 30 minutes then rinse off and pat dry with a paper towel.
Next, Season the fish:
1. Rub the spice mixture all over the outside of the fish and inside the fish cavity as well.
2. Place lemon slices and cilantro inside the fish’s belly.
3. In a bowl combine the artichoke bottoms, grape tomatoes, garlic, some more cilantro, some spice mixture, and olive oil and lemon juice.
4. Pour mixture over the fish and spread around.
5. Make 3 cuts across the fish’s body with a sharp knife…..this yields a really nice presentation.
6. Cover with foil and bake in a PREHEATED 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Then uncover, raise the temperature to 450 and bake about another 10 minutes or until the juices around the fish have evaporated and the artichoke caramelized a bit.
7. Squeeze the juice of the remaining half a lemon over the fish as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Serve and enjoy! 💞