Branzino is one of my favorite types of fish. It is flaky and subtle, and it takes on flavors quite well. Recently, I smoked it with rosemary from our garden. The results were a buttery, smoky flavor with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. When you buy branzino, ask your fishmonger to gut and clean it for you. If you can’t find branzino, trout is a fine substitution. Note: On the English version of most Italian menus it’s called sea bass, but it’s really branzino.
- Rinse the fish under cold water, pat dry, and place in a glass dish.
- Combine the thyme, chopped rosemary, salt, oil, and the juice of 1 lemon in a small bowl, and massage this seasoning into the fish on both sides. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.
- Start your grill, and heat until the coals are white (about 1 hour). Stuff the cavity of each fish with slices of lemon, then place the fish on the grill, with a bunch of rosemary stems alongside, and close the grill lid. Smoke should start forming, but do not open the grill for 5 minutes. This will ensure the smoky flavor of the rosemary permeates the fish.
- After 5 minutes, gently turn the fish and grill the other side for 10 minutes, uncovered. Add more rosemary if it has burned off. Watch to make sure the fish doesn’t burn.
- Remove the fish, garnish with slices of the remaining lemons, and serve warm.
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