Branzino is a Mediterranean sea bass, indigenous to the shores of Greece, and is considered a prized fish throughout Europe. In France, they are called Loup or Bar, the Spanish call them Robalo, and in Italy they are known as Spigola or, more commonly as Bronzino. In Greece, they are also known as Lavraki, and are a near mythical fish. In fact, when Greek journalists stumble upon a great story — snag that rare exclusive scoop — they call it a Lavraki. Stuffed with fresh herbs, lemon and sliced ginger this recipe for Whole Grilled Branzino is easy to prepare and makes a gorgeous main dish, especially on a hot summer evening under the stars.
Whole Grilled Branzino
2 medium Branzino, cleaned and scaled by your fishmonger
1/8 cup olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
1 handful fresh lemon thyme
1 tbsp dried Greek oregano
1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
2 lemons, one finely sliced and the other cut in half for grilling
Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Set an outdoor grill or barbecue to high heat. Season the inside of the Branzino with salt and a few grindings of black pepper, and rub the outside with the olive oil and season well with kosher salt which will help ensure a wonderful crispy skin, plus a sprinkle of dried oregano for flavour. Stuff with lemon slices, sliced ginger and sprigs of fresh lemon thyme. Place the fish and lemon halves on a foil lined baking sheet for easy transport to the BBQ.
Grill the fish over high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp and just cooked through, about 7 minutes per side, adding the lemon halves cut side down for the last 3-4 minutes. Serve the grilled Bronzino straight away, and garnish with the grilled lemon wedges for squeezing overtop of the fish.