Friday, December 20, 2013

Branzini ala Greca!

Branzini or Lavraki is a Mediterranean fish that has been farmed very successfully in Greece in the past decade. It has recently become very popular on  restaurant menus in New York and New Jersey. It's also now available for sale at your local fish markets.  

It's a white fish with flaky meat with a boatload of flavor. I always can taste the Mediterranean in it.

I love that I can see the fish farms off the coast of Athens, not far from my apartment in Greece.  My fishmonger at the Farmer's Market in Greece gave me the best instructions on how to cook it and I'm going to share them right here with you!
Serves 2

1 1+lb whole branzini(I ask my fish monger to cut the fins and tail and score the skin on the sides)
1-2 springs of rosemary or oregano
4 tablespoons Greek extra Virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

sea salt for serving
juice of 1 lemon for serving
Preheat the oven to 400.

Wash the fish and pat it dry with paper towels. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and lay the fish on top. Place the springs of rosemary or oregano in the cavity of the fish and dress the fish with the rest of the oil. Grind some black pepper over the fish and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 2-3 minutes. Slice down the middle of the fish and flip each half away from the center bone. Remove the fish bone, herbs and head and divide the deboned fish in two plates. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
And voila, you have a Greek fish the way it would have been served to you if you were sitting at a Greek Taverna by the sea.
I like to serve my fish with simply steamed greens, this time it was Swiss chard dressed with lemon and olive oil. A baked sweet potato that I had cooked in the oven before the fish rounded out the meal perfectly

I love color on my plate. Foods with color are not only pleasing to the eye and the palate, but contain important nutrients that help fight disease and keep us healthy.

Put more color in your life!