Roasted Branzino with Lemons is a dish that is typically made in the Mediterranean. It is made by taking fish, brining it in salt water for about an hour, then roasting it over an open flame. The fish is then placed on top of a bed of lemon slices and herbs.
This oven roasted branzino is a simple and delicious dish. The fish is seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon zest, thyme, and olive oil.
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. pancetta, diced into 14-inch cubes
- Cooking spray with vegetable oil
- 2 whole branzino, striped bass, or red snapper, 12 pound each, scaled and gutted, head removed
- salt and black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 lemons, finely sliced, zest grated
- 1 medium fennel bulb, roughly chopped fronds (about 14 cup), trimmed and thinly sliced bulb
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 12 cup white wine, dry
Cooking a fish whole ensures that it remains juicy and delicious, and the procedure is much less daunting than it seems. Branzino is a tiny Mediterranean sea bass with a delicate texture and mild taste, which is accentuated here with a bright, crisp fennel and lemon stufing.
- In the bottom part of the oven, place an oven rack. Â Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Â Cook, turning occasionally, until the pancetta is golden and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Using paper towels, absorb any excess liquid. Remove from the equation.
- On a baking pan, place a piece of heavy-duty foil. Using vegetable oil cooking spray, spray the foil. Cut two 2-inch diagonal slits on each side of each fish, taking care not to cut through the bone, in the middle of the foil. Using salt and pepper, season the cavities. Combine half of the lemon zest, fennel fronds, and thyme in a small bowl. Half the mixture and spoon it into the cavities. Stuff the fish with lemon and fennel slices, saving four lemon slices for the top.
- Scatter the cooked pancetta and any leftover fennel around the fish. Pour the wine over the fish and garnish each with two lemon wedges. To make a package, place another sheet of foil on top and crimp the edges of both pieces of foil together.
- Roast the fish until the flesh is flaky and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Allow for a 5-minute rest period.
- Remove the top piece of foil with care. Place the fish on a chopping board and set aside. Place the fennel and lemon slices on a serving dish. Pull the skin away from the fish.
- Separate the two top fillets off the backbone using a sharp knife. Transfer the fillets to the plate using a metal spatula. Remove and discard the fish backbone from the bottom fillets (the backbone should readily come out). Transfer the two remaining fillets on the plate with the spatula. Before serving, top with the remaining lemon zest.
The crispy skin whole branzino is a dish that is made by roasting the fish with lemons. It has an amazing flavor and texture, making it one of my favorite dishes to make.
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