Italians also cook whole fish...one per person. So when dating an Italian... (*@*)
1 whole branzino (about 1 - 1.5 lbs) per person, have your fish monger clean it.
1/2 whole lemon, sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
a few sprigs of fresh herbs, I prefer a mix of rosemary, parsley
fresh ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of good olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine
1/4 cup of olive tapenade (purchased from Wholefoods)
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Wash and pat the branzino dry with a paper towel.
- Rub the outside and inside with garlic, salt and pepper.
- Place in a glass baking dish.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over the fish.
- Stuff the rest of the lemon, herbs, garlic inside the cavity of the branzino.
- Drizzle the olive oil directly over the branzino.
- Pour the wine into the baking dish.
- Bake the branzino for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350F. Bake for another 15-20 minutes depending how thick the branzino is.
- Let cool for 5 minutes.
- To eat, peel the top layer skin away and top with the olive tapenade. I really like the tapenade available in the olive bar at Wholefoods. I also like this plain with just an additional squeeze of fresh lemon.