"It's almost impossible to end up with dry, overcooked fish when cooking it whole," says chef Steve Corry. "The bones protect against extreme heat, plus they add flavor and moisture." Here, Corry pan-roasts whole branzino, Mediterranean sea bass, that's stuffed simply with lemon and rosemary. He makes the easy compound butter, which melts on the fish to become a sauce, with wild Tunisian mountain capers, although any caper will work.
More Quick Fish Recipes
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Four 1- to 1 1/4-pound whole branzino or striped bass, scaled and gutted
1 lemon, sliced into 8 rounds
4 large rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, mix the butter with the capers, lemon juice and parsley and season with salt. Keep at room temperature.
Season the branzino cavities with salt and stuff 2 lemon rounds and 1 rosemary sprig in each. Season the fish with salt.
In a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add 2 of the branzino and cook over high heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 stuffed branzino. Roast the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
Serve whole or filleted, passing the caper butter at the table.
When prepared simply, mild branzino can be overwhelmed by big, New World white wines, but it pairs well with Vermentino, the crisp Italian white.
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Review Body: While the flavors in the compound butter are good, this recipe has a problem. The cooking time is way too long. Cut the time in the oven to five minutes and the fish is perfect, otherwise, it's a soft mess. Also, it's unclear why it calls for an ovenproof skillet when the fish is transferred to a baking dish for the oven. Somewhere there's a disconnect.
I used thyme instead of rosemary since it's growing in my garden, otherwise followed it pretty much exactly.
Date Published: 2017-06-22
Author Name: Cynthia Ferguson
Review Body: This is a nice, easy, wow dish. My friends love it.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-05-24
Author Name: Monique Daniels
Review Body: So good!! My daughter was scraping the bones.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-02-24
Author Name: Gloria Arciniegas
Review Body: Is it possible to cool this on a cast iron and transfer it straight to the oven in the cast iron skillet?