Now that we are in the month of December, I am going to be sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes over the next few weeks. If you’re Italian like me, you know that seafood is a big deal on Christmas Eve. We celebrate with the Feast of the Seven Fishes – aka we eat seven different types of seafood that night. Here is an article by the Food Network with more information on it. Today’s recipe is going to be a grilled whole branzino. It’s simple, delicious, and perfect for the holidays.
What is branzino and why serve it whole
Branzino is a white fish that’s also known as European Bass. It is native to the Mediterranean Sea – particularly the western and southern coasts. It is typically served whole as the bones help keep the flesh moist while the skin crisps up. If you’re not really into eating fish skin, I wasn’t either…until I had branzino. It’s truly delicious.
How to prepare branzino
Looking at a whole branzino, you’re probably thinking it must be quite difficult to prepare…wrong! It’s actually super simple. All that you have to do is the following:
- Take the branzino out of the refrigerator 20 minutes ahead of time to help come to room temperature
- Season the inside and outside liberally with olive oil and our Open Fire BPS Rub. Alternatively, salt and pepper works just fine too
- Stuff the cavity with garlic and lemon (aromatics like thyme are great as well)
That’s really all there is to it. The branzino is ready for the grill!
How to grill branzino
Grilling the branzino is also a very simple process. Light your grill to 400ºF. I like to grill my branzino on my Kamado Joe Soapstone but grilling on grates works really well too. Just grill 8-10 minutes on one side, flip, and repeat on the second side. If you want to check for doneness, the branzino should have an internal temperature of 145ºF. Once you take it off the grill, drizzle with some more olive oil and that’s all there is to it!
How to serve branzino
There are multiple ways to serve the grilled whole branzino and it really comes down to personal preference. You could serve it as is, with the skin removed, or you could debone it. I personally like to debone my branzino and serve the skin on the side for anyone that would like it. Serve it with the sides of your choice and I’m telling you, it’s going to be a hit!
Grilled whole branzino is an extremely easy seafood dish that’s great for any occasion. Being Italian, I see this as the perfect Christmas Eve dish as we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s simple, serves multiple people, and is always a fan favorite. It’ll feel like you’re enjoying a meal from an Italian coast city but from the comfort of your home. Give this recipe a shot and enjoy. Buon appetito!
Grilled Whole Branzino
- 1 Whole Branzino
- Olive Oil to taste
- Open Fire BPS Rub to taste; use salt & pepper as a substitute
- 3-4 Garlic Cloves sliced
- 1 Lemon sliced into rings
- Remove branzino from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you plan on cooking it in order to bring to room temperature.
- Light the grill to 400ºF.
- Liberally season the outside and inside of the branzino with olive oil and Open Fire BPS Rub. Alternatively, you can use salt and pepper.
- Stuff the cavity with the sliced garlic cloves and lemon rings.
- Add to the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes. Flip and cook the second side for another 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the grill and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve immediately and enjoy.