Grilled Branzino with Lemon Butter

A lemony, garlicky fresh sauce that we pour over grilled fish .This recipe is something that we have as a default now in our family for alfresco dining as we can regularly get fresh whole branzino here now—it is farmed and gains a sweet flavor from the feed it eats. The branzino cooks so easily on the grill and I recommend a fish grilling basket for easy flipping.

A note on the lemon—I ask for “one juicy lemon,that the ratio of lemon to oil in this recipe can be highly variable and depends on your taste. I like mine in approximately the classic vinaigrette ratio of 1 part lemon to 3 parts olive oil. —

Paired here with a summery, bright lemon vinaigrette, the grilled branzino tastes like a perfect summer day. As this is such a crowd-pleasing dish (with easy prep and cooking), we suggest grilling multiple branzini to serve your hungry backyard dinner guests.

What kind of fish is branzino?
Branzino is a white fish, also known as a European sea bass, but in the US it goes by the Italian name—branzino. This Mediterranean sea bass is native to southern and western European coasts, as well as northern African coasts.

What does branzino meat taste like?
Branzino boasts a light, flaky meat with a subtly sweet finish, similar to that of cod or tilapia. Because of its gentle flavor profile, grilled branzino lends itself well to a variety of different flavor combinations, especially those prevalent in the warmer months.

Do you eat the skin of a whole branzino?
Grilling whole branzino allows the skin to get delightfully crispy while keeping the delicate interior moist. Eat the grilled branzino skin as-is, or choose to fold it back when the time comes for serving—both are valid options.

What is difference between branzino and branzini?
Branzini is the plural of branzino.

Whole Roasted Branzino with Fennel and Onions


⦁  1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
⦁  3 lb. yellow onions, sliced
⦁  3 lb. fennel, sliced, fronds reserved
⦁  1⁄4 cup white wine
⦁  3 tbsp. finely chopped thyme
⦁  Zest and juice of 1 orange
⦁  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⦁  6 whole branzino, cleaned

Whole roasted fish dishes like this flavorful one are traditionally served on Italian-American feast days.

Heat oven to 350°. Heat 1⁄2 cup oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and fennel; cook until soft, 8–10 minutes. Add fronds, wine, thyme, zest and juice; cook for 5 minutes. Season fish with salt and pepper; stuff cavity with 1⁄4 cup fennel mixture; tie fish closed with kitchen twine. Put the remaining fennel mixture in a roasting pan, top with fish. Drizzle with remaining oil; bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes.