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Many people reserve their branzino orders for restaurants, because they’re too intimidated by the fish.

Not anymore! Our branzino is crispy, easy-to-make, and, most importantly, delicious. Our preserved lemon gremolata is the ultimate finishing touch, especially in contrast with the marinated sweet cherry tomatoes. It’s the most inexpensive means of transport to the Mediterranean we’ve found!

How to Make It

Difficulty: Easy

Overall Time: 35 min

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Serves: 8



  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill
  • ¼ cup minced preserved lemon
  • 3 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt, to taste


  • 1 ½ lbs (680 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 whole branzini, each about 1 lb (454 g), scaled and gutted
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into 12 rounds
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Position rack in center of oven, then preheat to 425°F.
  2. For the gremolata, combine dill with preserved lemon, shallot, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl. Stir in lemon juice and oil. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Spoon half of gremolata over cherry tomatoes in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. Then, set both bowls aside.
  4. Sprinkle fish cavities with ¼ tsp salt. Season with pepper. Next, stuff each cavity with 3 lemon rounds, a few shallot rounds, and a sprig of parsley. Sprinkle remaining ¼ tsp salt over fish.
  5. Heat a very large non-stick frying pan or well-seasoned cast iron pan over high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. When oil is hot, add two branzini. Sear until skin is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side (slide a fish spatula under each branzino, then use tongs to hold the cavity closed, to easily flip fish over). Transfer fish to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 1 tbsp oil and branzino, reducing heat if pan is getting too hot.
  6. Roast branzini until just cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes (a thermometer inserted in thickest part of fish should read 160°F). Transfer fish to a large platter. Spoon marinated cherry tomatoes around branzino. Serve with gremolata and lemon wedges.

Kitchen Tips

Ask your fishmonger to scale the branzini and clean out the cavities for you.

Branzino is also known as Mediterranean Sea bass.

How to enjoy it

Using a frying pan with a non-stick surface is important, as it will give you a browned and crisp skin and prevent the skin from sticking to the pan.

You can also grill branzino on the barbecue. Prep fish following directions and grill over medium-high heat until grill marks form, and fish just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Roasted Branzino with Preserved Lemon Gremolata Recipe by Casa de Suna
Roasted Branzino with Preserved Lemon Gremolata Recipe by Casa de Suna

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