Embark on a culinary adventure to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean with our Greek-Style whole branzino fish recipe! Delicate and flavorful, branzino, also known as European sea bass, is a beloved staple in Mediterranean cuisine. And with this exquisite recipe, you'll be able to recreate the authentic taste and aromas of Greece right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Picture this: a beautifully stuffed branzino, infused with aromatic herbs, zesty lemon, and the vibrant colors of cherry tomatoes and red onions, all baked to perfection. As you take a bite, the tender, flaky fish melts in your mouth, harmonizing with the fresh, herbaceous notes and the tangy essence of the Mediterranean.
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2 whole branzino fish (about 1 pound each)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
4-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4-6 sprigs of fresh oregano
4-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Preparing the Branzino:
1. Rinse the fish: Make sure the branzino fish are properly cleaned. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
2. Make a Horizontal Incision: Place the branzino on a clean cutting board, and with the fish's belly facing upwards, make a horizontal incision along the belly of the fish. The cut should start from the head and go towards the tail.
3. Remove the Guts and Organs: Gently open the fish along the incision to reveal the guts and organs inside. Use your fingers or a spoon to carefully remove all the organs and discard them.
4. Clean the Cavity: Thoroughly rinse the cavity of the branzino under cold running water to ensure it is clean and free of any remaining innards.
5. Create a Pocket for Stuffing: With the cavity cleaned, you’ll now create a pocket for stuffing the fish with the aromatic ingredients. Make two vertical cuts on each side of the fish, starting just behind the head and ending near the tail. These cuts should be deep enough to reach the backbone, but not go through the other side.
Creating the Herb Stuffing:
1. Take one branzino at a time and stuff the cavity with slices of lemon, fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, garlic, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. This aromatic herb and vegetable mixture will infuse the fish with wonderful flavors while it cooks. Repeat the same process for the second fish.
Preparing the Fish for Cooking:
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Place the stuffed branzino on a baking sheet or in a baking dish lined with parchment paper.
3. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the fish and vegetables, ensuring they are well coated. Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides of the fish for seasoning.
Cooking the Branzino:
1. If you prefer, you can add 1/4 cup of white wine to the baking sheet for added moisture and flavor. The wine will also help keep the fish moist during the cooking process.
2. Bake the branzino in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the flesh is opaque and easily flakes with a fork. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size of the fish, so keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.
1. Once the fish is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period will allow the flavors to meld together.
2. Transfer the branzino to a serving platter, and arrange the cooked vegetables around the fish for an appealing presentation.
3. Garnish with extra lemon slices, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil for added freshness and visual appeal.
This Greek-style whole branzino fish pairs wonderfully with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired sides. Some excellent choices include roasted vegetables, Greek salad, or a quinoa tabbouleh.
With the addition of red onion and cherry tomatoes, the Greek-style whole branzino fish recipe is elevated to a new level of flavor and vibrancy. The combination of fresh herbs, zesty lemon, and colorful vegetables harmoniously complements the delicate taste of the branzino, delivering a truly delightful Mediterranean dining experience. Enjoy this succulent and aromatic dish with family and friends for an unforgettable culinary journey. Bon appétit!