September 9, 2014 by Kai Chan
At a friend’s request, this is my relatively quick and healthy way to prepare branzino for two. It’s fairly hard to mess up this recipe since you’re essentially steaming the branzino in parchment paper, so you cannot severely overcook it. Branzino is a delicate white fish, not meant for garish sauces, hence why the simple salt & pepper seasoning. The only downside to eating branzino is that it has a lot of small bones, so you need to careful to avoid eating the bones and getting one stuck in your throat!
1 branzino, cleaned and de-scaled (medium size, around 1.25 lbs)
1 small lemon, sliced
1/4 cup carrots, julienned
1/4 cup olives, halved (I prefer black but only had green this time!)
Few sprigs of herbs, dill or parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Clean and de-scale the branzino if it hasn’t been done already. I ordered my branzino from Whole Foods, so they are good at cleaning the fish for you. This time around, they didn’t remove the tail or fins, but I usually get those removed as well (when I lived in New York). Pat the fish dry and place on 1.5 ft of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet.
Season the branzino liberally with salt and pepper on both sides as well as in the cavity.
Put a few slices of the lemon slices in the cavity of the fish with the herbs – I used dill this time around. Lay the fish on top of some lemon slices and then top the fish with remaining lemon slices. Spread the carrots and olives around the branzino.
Drizzle the olive oil on top of the fish and then crimp the parchment paper closed.
Place the baking sheet with branzino in parchment paper in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. If you have a larger branzino, you may need to bake for a longer period of time. When removing from the oven, be careful when you open the parchment paper since there will be hot steam coming out.
When plating the fish, you can remove the lemon and dill but I forgot to do that for my photo opp…it still looks great with it, anyways. Bon appetit!