Branzino, a salt-water white fish, is a traditional staple of Italian cooking. Wonderfully easy to prepare, its delicate flavor, few bones and sustainability make it an easy favorite. Simple and delicious, our recipe takes only minutes to prepare. If you can’t find Branzino, you can substitute any other white fish.
Makes 4 servings
2 whole branzini (about 1 pound each), scaled and gutted
1 lemon, sliced into 8 rounds
1 bunch thyme
1 head fennel, fronds removed and reserved
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Stuff the belly cavities of each fish with a couple of lemon rounds, fennel pieces and 6 to 8 thyme sprigs. Season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper.
In a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Carefully place the whole fish into the pan to crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Using a fish spatula flip the fish and place the entire pan into the oven for 12 minutes.
Remove the fish from the oven and delicately remove the flesh. Squeeze any leftover lemon pieces over the top and tear up some fennel fronds, scattering over the fish. Finish with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil and serve.
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