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Recipe | Herby Branzino with Roasted Fingerlings

A quick trip to the farmer’s market this morning inspired tonight’s dinner! It’s always fun to see the unique fruits and veggies in season from local farmers. The first thing I locked eyes with was a promising little branzino, longing to meet some fragrant herbs and my sizzling cast iron. I made a few rounds at the market and picked so many juicy fruits and herbs for the week! As my basket grew heavier, I knew it was time I got to know that little branzino. And boy did I get to know it – did you know fish have tongues? Sammy and I were shocked when we pried that branzino’s mouth open, just to find a white, creased tongue. Not a fan.

Whole  Branzino Recipe

I’ve always admired the creativity and presentation of branzino dishes from various restaurants; it’s usually my go-to at Italian, French and Mediterranean restaurants! Keeping it simple with spices but bold with fresh herbs, I did what I anticipated any restaurant would do if they had these ingredients on hand. I think any combination of fresh herbs would be perfect with branzino. As it cooks, the herbs become aromatic and the steam travels through the fish, leaving behind its savory essence. 

This dish comes together in minutes – it’s only an hour thanks to the potatoes! Omit those, and you’ll have a gorgeous dinner in minutes. Though, I don’t recommend skipping out [ever] on fingerlings – they’re divine with a tangy, savory bite. Also, if the branzino head isn’t your jam, have your butcher chop it off but it makes for a brilliant presentation! 

I hope you try this recipe! If you do, I’d love to see. Be sure to tag me on social @jenaceret 🙂

 

 

 

 

Herby Branzino with Roasted Fingerlings
Serves: 2
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour (mostly the potatoes in the oven!)
Total time: 1 hr 10 min
 
Ingredients
1 branzino, butterflied
1 lb golden fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 medium lemon, sliced
1 bunch thai basil
1 bunch fresh italian parsley
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
6 tbsp garam masala
3 tbsp butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Flakey sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
 
Directions: 
1. Preheat your oven to 400. Slice fingerling potatoes lengthwise (to create more surface area to crisp up!) Make sure potatoes are uniform – if some are longer than others, cut in half. Season generously and toss in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, 3 tbsp garam masala and 10 stripped thyme sprigs.

2. Coat a nonstick pan or parchment-lined baking sheet with olive oil. Place potatoes flat-side down so they get crispy. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, and set aside once done.

3. While the potatoes are roasting, begin prepping the branzino. Coat the fish inside and out with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Open the fish and line one side with lemon slices and a few sprigs of thai basil, italian parsley, thyme and rosemary. Close the fish. If you have kitchen twine, you can also wrap to keep in all of the herbs. 

4. Heat a large cast iron skillet on high with olive oil. Sear the branzino on each side for 10 minutes. Immediately after flipping, add butter, 3 tbsp garam masala and 8 thyme sprigs to the skillet, letting the herbs infuse in the butter. Using a spoon, baste the branzino with the herby butter. 

5. While the branzino is cooking, preheat the oven to 300. After searing and basting the branzino, it should be slightly undercooked. Add the fingerlings around the branzino and gently toss in the delicious oils. Pop in the oven for 5 more minutes to finish cooking the branzino and reheat fingerlings.

6. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh herbs and lemon. Serve immediately in the skillet and enjoy! 🙂

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