Branzino, also known as Branzini, loupe de mer and European seabass, is one of my favorite fish to prepare whole. The flavor is mild yet distinct, the flesh is firm, and the bones are easy to work around.
My first experience with this fish was in Paris on Christmas day with my then boyfriend (now husband). It was two days after we got engaged in the city and we were both giddy over our new relationship status and the beauty of the city of lights. At one of the only restaurants open that day we had a wonderful roasted sea bass with lovely cream sauce.
This recipe calls for using natural lump charcoal on the barbecue. This fuel is an ideal way to get authentic Mediterranean flavor since the coals impart a wonderful smoky flavor. I use a fish grate when I barbeque fish. It’s a safety precaution that ensures that my fish won’t stick.
Serves 2 to 4.
2 medium sized whole drawn (gutted) branzino
3 tbsps. The Spice House Garlic & Herb Mediterranean Spice Blend
1 whole lemon, juice and zest
1 large bunch of fresh rosemary
Start your barbecue coals.
In a medium sized bowl add The Spice House spice mix along with the and juice and zest of ½ lemon and enough olive oil to create a paste. Set aside and prep the fish.
Use a sharp knife to score the fish three times on both sides. Stuff the fresh rosemary into the cavity of each fish. Place on a plate and slather each side of the fish with the Mediterranean paste. If using a fish grate add the fish to the grate.
Add the fish to the grill and grill for 6-8 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.