Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grilled Branzino with Ladolemono and Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

I was craving a really fresh and light meal for dinner tonight.  While I was at Fairway trying to figure out dinner I was immediately drawn to the whole branzino.  So I had the fishmonger clean and scale two branzinos for me and brought them home.  My original plan was to stuff the branzino with herbs and lemon slices, and then serve drizzled with some really nice evoo and lemon juice (kind of like this Whole-Roasted Rainbow Trout we made about a year ago).  Then I remembered this recipe from my Bon Appetit and decided to make that instead.  For the record, I don't know if they have new writers at Bon Appetit or what, but they had really fantastic issues all summer long.  I haven't made any of the recipes from the September through November issues, but I really need to because we made a number of very successful meals with recipes from the June through August issues!  This branzino was yet another successful dish.  I was worried that the fish wouldn't have enough flavor, but branzino is such a mild fish that it really worked.  The ladolemono (essentially a lemon vinaigrette made with equal parts lemon juice and evoo) and dried Greek oregano gave it more than enough flavor.  It had a lot of zing and freshness from the lemon, countered by the buttery evoo and the fragrant oregano.  And then the fish was very moist and perfectly cooked.  This recipe was definitely a keeper and I can't wait to try it with an actual grill to get that extra element of flavor.  We served the branzino with a very simple sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon juice - fresh and healthy, but flavorful.

Recipes after the jump!

Grilled Branzino with Ladolemono
Adapted from Bon Appetit
June 2011

2 whole bone-in branzino, cleaned and scaled
1 tablespoon evoo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Ladolemono (see below)
1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano, separated

Heat a grill pan (or a grill if you have one) to medium-high heat. Brush fish with oil and season skin and cavity with salt and pepper. Crush 1 tsp of dried oregano and season the cavity with oregano. Grill fish, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. 

Transfer to a platter, drizzle with Ladolemono, crumble remaining oregano over, and serve.

June 2011

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup evoo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together lemon juice and evoo. Whisk in kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

Sauteed Baby Spinach with Garlic

5-6 oz baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp evoo
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp unsalted butter
lemon juice

Rinse the spinach well in cold water to make sure it's very clean. Drain.
In a small Dutch oven, heat the evoo over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add all the spinach, toss it with the garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook it until it is about halfway wilted down, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Uncover the pot, and cook the spinach for another 30 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is fully wilted.  Add butter, and season to taste with s&p.  Toss to combine.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the top (I generally squeeze around a tsp).  


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