Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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Look What I Bought At My Farmer’s Market–A Whole Branzino! Wait ‘Til You See What I Did With It!

I’ve always wanted to grill a whole fish but never really knew where to begin. It all came together last weekend at my Farmer’s Market when I found this Branzino just waiting for me at A & H Fish–they have the best fish around! I bought the fish…then thought…now what!

Thank goodness my friend Stella from MangiConAmore was at her booth next door and told me all about Branzino, a Mediterranean sea bass, which is very popular in Italy. She told me exactly how to cook it and gave me her secret ingredient to grill a perfect fish. 
Here’s Stella’s secret ingredient–Zesty Lemon Salamoia. She sells it at our Laguna Farmer’s Market or you can go to her website and buy it online. She told me to use it on my salad, on my fish and just about anything. Well, I can tell you this much–the branzino was out of this world! Thanks, Stella!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Here’s all you need to make a beyond-delicious fish dinner.

  • 1 whole Branzino
  • Mangi Con Amore Zesty Lemon Salamoia
  • 1-2 lemons
  • olive oil
The fish was already gutted (thank goodness) so I just rinsed it out. Don’t be grossed out–it’s just like cleaning out the inside of a chicken or turkey. Really. Stella told me to score the fish on both sides.

Rub it with a little olive oil then massage the Lemon Salamoia into the slits and inside the belly.  Place lemon slices inside the cavity and it’s ready for the grill. 

Heat the grill to about 450. I put a little olive oil on the grill to help prevent it from sticking, but noticed when I flipped it some of the skin did stay behind. If you want to avoid this you could cook it on foil, but I wanted the grilled taste. I cooked it for about 6 minutes, then carefully flipped it and cooked it another 5 minutes. 

I wasn’t sure how long to cook it but I just watched until the juices in the mouth were clear and it was somewhat firm to the touch.

Here’s what it looked like when I took it off the grill. 

I let it rest for 5 minutes then deboned and filleted it. This was the fun and easy part. First I removed the lemons and cut off the head and tail. With a thin knife I gently lifted the top filet and exposed the spine. (Next time I’ll try to keep the head and tail attached to the spine).
When I removed the spine I had two beautiful filets.
I placed one filet on my plate and garnished with lemon. I picked a few Romaine leaves from the garden and added sliced cucumber and radishes for a little salad. I just dressed it with lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper. 

One bite and I was in heaven–you will be too. 

Thanks again to all of my wonderful readers and remember you can always read this first at Stu News.

Categories: Fish, Main Dishes


2 replies

  1. Anything under Stella's canopy is to die for! We cook almost everything in the avocado oil. So delicious. I love that market!

  2. Anything under Stella's canopy is to die for! We cook almost everything in the avocado oil. So delicious. I love that market!

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