Sunday, August 23, 2009
Branzino, aka European and Mediterranean seabass, is a beautiful, succulent fish. It was simple as can be to grill whole. Purchased cleaned and scaled from our fishmonger, I had only to clip the sharp pectoral and dorsal fins, rinse and dry, and rub the fish with salt and pepper. It was grilled on medium high heat for 5 minutes on each side.
We plated it on pappardelle which had been dressed in muscado vinegar and porcini-infused olive oil, and topped with a pan-cooked relish of diced tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, cherry peppers and pepperoncini.
When the fish was served, after removing the head and tail, the skin easily pulled away. The top half of the flesh needed to be very carefully sliced and pulled from the bones. After that maneuver, the skeleton was gently but painlessly pulled from the remaining half.
We did encounter a couple of pin bones as we ate, but they were easy to detect and remove. And it was worth it. The fish is buttery and delicious.