Branzino, or European sea bass, is a perfect fish to dress up and toss on the grill. Mild in flavor, it holds up to a hot grill, makes for a simple and elegant dinner, and pairs perfectly with a Sauvignon Blanc. The key is a very hot grill for quick cooking, as well as a coating of olive oil and salt on the outside of the fish.
- 1 whole fish, gutted and cleaned (branzino, gray or pink snapper, or black sea bass)
- Fresh herbs — dill, thyme and rosemary
- Olive oil
- 3-4 Thai chilis
- Coarse sea salt
Start by rinsing and patting the fish dry. Cut 3-4 slits in each side of the fish, careful not to cut through to the cavity. Slide Thai chilis into the individual slits. Salt and stuff the cavity with herbs. Drizzle to coat the fish with olive oil and salt well.
Add lime juice and make sure your grill is heated on a high setting. The fish will cook quickly, and it is best to have a large spatula to turn it while cooking. Place fish on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on one side. Turn and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the grill and drizzle with additional olive oil and lime juice.
Remove the herbs from the cavity and use to garnish the plate with the grilled limes and any other fresh vegetables you like. Chilis can also be used as a garnish, or you may dice and sprinkle them on top of the fish for a spicier take on the dish. Serve the fish directly on a platter to share — it can be eaten family style and will flake away nicely from the bone.
Grilling a whole fish is a quick, easy, healthy option for dinner.