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RECIPE Branzino

Serves 2

A CookTale

I know of no other retail fish market in our region of the Hudson Valley where you can purchase a whole fish. A fish that is so fresh that their clear bright eyes and bright red gills tell you that you’ve come to the right place. That place is Gadeleto’s Seafood Market in New Paltz, NY. They’ll scale, gut, bone and if asked and not overwhelming busy, will even remove those nasty pin bones. After that it’s up to you how you decide to prepare it. After stuffing the cavity with herbs and vegetables, I opted for oven roasting. The result was Branzino, completely boneless, properly cooked and ready for plating.

INGREDIENTS For the Branzino

1 1-lb Whole Branzino (fully prepared)
1 Fennel Bulb (cored & finely sliced on a Mandoline)
1 whole Lemon (juiced & zested + thin slices of Lemon)
1 Garlic Clove (finely diced)
3/4 cup of Parsley (finely chopped)
4 TB of EVOO (more as needed)
Sea Salt & Black Pepper (be generous)

INGREDIENTS For the Gremolata

1/2 cup of Parsley
2 Garlic Cloves (diced)
1/2 cup of fresh Mint (chopped)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD For the Branzino

1. Heat the oven to 350F degrees.

2. With a Mandoline, finely slice the Fennel Bulb & add it to a bowl. In the same bowl, add the Zest & Juice of half a Lemon, 2 TB of EVOO & Salt & Pepper. Mix together & set aside for the flavors to blend.

3. If required, debone the Branzino (a fishmonger is better at this). Otherwise, sprinkle the inside & outside with Salt & Pepper & EVOO. Open the fish flat & distribute the Fennel mixture into the cavity. Add three slices of Lemon atop the Fennel & fold together. Refrigerate until ready to oven roast.

4. To the prepared Branzino, add three slices of Lemon & spoon on the Gremolata. Into the oven to roast for 15 minutes.

5. To serve, add a fillet to each plate, scatter around the roasted Fennel mixture & a dash of the Gremolata.

METHOD For the Gremolata

Chop, slice & add all of the above ingredients & toss together. Add more EVOO if necessary to attain the consistency of a Salsa. Set aside.

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