I love branzino and it’s the perfect fish to eat anytime I can find it in my local fish market. My introduction to branzino was at my favorite Greek restaurant, Taverna Agora in Raleigh, NC. It was roasted whole which produced this delectable browned and crispy skin with tons of flavor. And the branzino was perfectly cooked with a nice and moist interior. Just plain scrumptious and memorable. Why I’m missing it right now!
If you haven’t yet tried branzino, it’s a light Mediterranean sea bass that’s flaky in texture but it’s perfectly rich in flavor. And, I especially like to roast it whole so it’s on the bone for best flavor. Just like I had it at Taverna Agora. Also, I find that it’s almost impossible to end up with dry, overcooked fish when cooking it whole. Or, it’s also delicious grilled. You simply stuff the cavity with lemon slices, your favorite herbs, and some salt and pepper and you’re good to go. I start the cooking process off in a skillet to really crisp up the skin before roasting. Today, I had some beautiful cherry tomatoes from our friend’s garden, so I tossed a few on the sheet pan with the fish for roasting. Roasted tomatoes have that nice intense tomato flavor that goes so well with the fish. And they add some nice color to the dish. Roasted branzino and tomatoes, it’s end of summer foodie goodness!
By the way, if you haven’t cook fish whole, don’t be afraid! The taste is amazing so just have your fish monger scale and gut the branzino. Typically, it’s sold already prepared, so making this dish is easy, easy, easy to cook. And it’s something really special to eat. Go ahead, give it a try and see what you think.
Season the branzino cavity with salt and pepper and stuff 3 lemon slices and 1 thyme sprig into the cavity.
Add sliced cherry tomatoes and parsley if desired. Roast the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
Flavorful and memorable!
Stranded Foodie Recipe for Roasted Whole Branzino with Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 1 to 2
- One 1-pound to 1-1/4 pound whole branzino, scaled and gutted
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 thyme sprig or herb of your choice
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Flat leaf parsley, minced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425°. Season the branzino cavity with salt and pepper and stuff 3 lemon slices and 1 thyme sprig into the cavity. In a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the branzino and cook over high heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a large rimmed baking sheet. Season skin with salt and pepper. Add sliced cherry tomatoes and parsley if desired. Roast the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Serve whole or filleted and garnish plate with roasted tomatoes and parsley. Wonderful!