Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here’s an easy late spring/early summer favorite to make on the grill this weekend — whole grilled branzino with vegetables. Branzino is a European fish that is farmed commercially and is frequently on the menu in Italy, Greece and Spain. It has a delicate white flesh and is terrific on the grill stuffed with parsley, lemons, peppers, garlic and a little onion.
Have the fish monger clean and gut the fish for you…
When you go to the store, pick fish that appear fresh and not slimy. The eyes should be bright and clear and there should be no fishy odor. Ask the fish monger to clean and gut the fish for you. For a more festive presentation, leave the heads and tails intact — if it bothers you to have the head and tail on, you can have them removed at the market instead.
Stuff the fish with vegetables and wrap in foil to grill
After you’ve rinsed the fish and patted them gently dry with a paper towel, fill the body cavity with the vegetables, lemon slices and herbs. Lightly spray with a little olive oil and wrap each fish in its own foil pouch.
Grill outside for a few minutes until done and enjoy!
After you’ve preheated the grill, place the foil wrapped fish on your hot grill, close the lid and go enjoy some relaxing conversation with your friends or family. When the fish is cooked through …
pair the delicate filets with a whole grain starch such as whole wheat pearled couscous, brown rice or quinoa and a side of steamed asparagus or green beans, and enjoy!
Dinner is served — what could be easier for early summer outdoor dining?
Whole Grilled Branzino with Vegetables (serves 2)
- 2 Whole Branzino Fish (cleaned, with heads and tails on)
- 1/2 cup red bell peppers, sliced
- 1/2 cup yellow bell peppers, sliced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 15-20 parsley sprigs
- 3-4 lemon slices
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Preheat outdoor grill to high.
2. Rinse fish under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Place red and yellow bell peppers, onion, parsley sprigs and lemon slices inside the cleaned fish.
4. Coat the outside of the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (omit salt if following low salt diet).
5. Place each fish in a foil pouch.
6. Grill on high until fish is cooked through. Internal temperature should be a minimum of 145 degrees F (use a meat thermometer).
7. To serve, remove fish from foil, remove bones and serve fillets with a whole grain such as whole wheat pearled couscous and a green vegetable.
Nutrition information per serving: 224 calories; 10 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol; 667 mg sodium; 12 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams dietary fiber; 23 grams protein (values are approximate).