June 26, 2017
Grilled Branzino With Tarragon Gremolata Aioli
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.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
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.
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.
5. Slice lemons in half and brush cut sides with oil. Place on grill, cut sides down, for 5 minutes or until charred.
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.