Roasted Branzino

Yesterday’s lunch here in NYC was delicious! We ate at Gemma’s Trattoria in the Bowery Hotel. It is one of Dr. Junger’s favorite restaurants here in the City! Needless to say, we were not disappointed!  We ate many wonderful dishes, including this cedar planked roasted Branzino, a Mediterranean Sea bass.

Recently I bought a whole Branzino as recommended by our MB Farmers’ Market Fish Monger, Dry Dock Fish Company.  I stuffed the whole fish with aromatics, wrapped it all in a nice parchment package and baked it. I was super surprised how mild and sweet tasting it was.  I’m a huge fan of trout, so when I tried Branzino, I was happy to know there is a “wild” option that tastes similar!  I highly recommend this fish, but be super careful of the bones!

Farmer’s Market Roasted Branzino~

Delicate and Delicious!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 Whole Branzino

Wash fish and remove head or leave it on (depending on who you are serving to), Some people, kids in particular, get a little squeamish with fish heads)

½ onion diced

½ leek halved and sliced

1 carrot diced

½ celery or fennel diced

2 garlic cloves finely minced

Ghee and Olive Oil

Sea Salt and pepper

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 Bay leaf

¼ C white wine, vegetable, or chicken stock

Juice of ¼ of lemon

Parchment Paper and aluminum foil, enough to cover entire fish

Baking sheet with sides or a ceramic roasting dish


Place aluminum foil onto baking sheet.  Top with parchment paper.  Lay cleaned fish on top. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If using ceramic dish you only need parchment and foil to cover the top of the dish.

In a heated skillet add 1 Tbl ghee or olive oil.  Add all the vegetables and herbs, except the bay leaf. Sauté until nicely browned.  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes.  Spoon enough cooked vegetables into the cavity of the fish and the remaining on top.  Pour wine and drizzle olive oil over fish and vegetables. If eating CLEAN, omit the wine and use stock of choice.  Cover fish with extended parchment paper and secure with aluminum foil over top to seal in the steam while cooking.

Place in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.  Uncover fish and cook another 5-10 minutes to crisp the top. I served it with sauteed garlic, greens and fennel.

Note:  There are tiny bones in Branzino, even though they say it’s been filleted.  IF serving to kids, I would make sure to give them pieces that you’ve checked for bones. And when serving adults, give them advanced warning as well.

Roasted Branzino Al Forno and sautéed green beans at Gemma’s in NYC


Peggy’s Farmer’s Market Stuffed Branzino prior to roasting Roasted Farmer’s Market Stuffed Branzino served with greens and fennel

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