June 26, 2017

Grilled Branzino With Tarragon Gremolata Aioli

Recipe: Kristen Eppich

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, including marinating time

Allowing the branzino to brine for a short period helps strengthen the flesh of the fish and makes it stand up to the grill. Be sure your grill is very hot when you add the fish to prevent the skin from tearing.


Gin Brine

  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 tbsp gin
  • 2 whole branzino, gutted
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for grilling

Tarragon Gremolata

  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp flaky salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Tarragon Aioli

  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1⁄4 cup Tarragon Gremolata
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Grilled Lemons

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Brine Fish

1. Stir sugar and salt into 1 cup hot water until dissolved. Add remaining water and gin. Arrange fish in shallow rimmed dish that they fit snugly into. Pour brine over fish and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping fish once halfway through.

Make Tarragon Gremolata

2. Place garlic, parsley and tarragon on cutting board and finely chop together. Place in bowl and stir in lemon zest and salt. Season with pepper. Set aside.

Make Tarragon Aioli

3. Stir mayonnaise with 1⁄4 cup Tarragon Gremolata and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Grill Fish

3. Remove fish from brine. Dry inside of fish and let sit on paper towels to thoroughly dry. Discard brine. Season inside of fish lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tsp remaining Tarragon Gremolata inside each fish.

4. Preheat grill to medium-high, 400ºF to 450ºF. Oil fish. Place on grill directly over heat, close lid and cook for 5 minutes or until dark grill marks appear. Using large spatula, gently flip fish over onto different part of grill and cook for 5 more minutes. Sprinkle each fish with 1 tsp remaining Tarragon Gremolata. Close lid and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes or until eyes of fish have turned white and fish flakes when prodded with fork. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Grill Lemons

5. Slice lemons in half and brush cut sides with oil. Place on grill, cut sides down, for 5 minutes or until charred.

Serve Fish

6. Run knife along backbone of each fish. Slide knife between flesh and bones to remove fillets. Starting at tail end, pull out fish bones in one piece. Serve fish with Tarragon Aioli and grilled lemon halves.


Angus Fergusson


House & Home June 2017