Dina Cheney

Author, Still Life Painter, Recipe Creator, Photographer

Grilled Whole Branzino with Lemon and Thyme

Lunch, DinnerDina CheneyComment

Serves 2

Don't be intimidated to prepare whole fish at home. Not only is it extremely easy--it's also incredibly delicious, plus healthy. Thanks to the grill, while the skin becomes crispy, the flesh remains tender. If you'd rather not gut and clean out the fish yourself, ask the fishmonger to do it for you. To go DIY, make a slit behind the head and along the belly, and open. Remove the guts, and wash clean. Dry very well inside and out, then season according to the directions below.

2 whole branzino (about 2 lbs.), cut open, guts removed, and dried thoroughly inside and out

Salt and black pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

1 small lemon, thinly sliced

1 small bunch fresh thyme sprigs

Vegetable oil for greasing grill

  1. Season the body cavity of each fish generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and fill with lemon slices and fresh thyme. Brush both exterior sides of the fish with more olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a grill until very hot (over high heat). When hot, carefully rub with a vegetable oil-soaked rag (do this very quickly to avoid flare-ups). Add the fish, cover the grill, and cook for 8 minutes. Flip with a large spatula, cover, and cook for another 8 minutes. Serve immediately, removing the bones as you eat the fish.