Day 52: Whole-Roasted Branzino with Brussels Sprouts & Fingerlings
We're at the airport, heading home from Iceland. It really does feel like we've gone for weeks. Probably because, if you count the Christmas holidays (which we spent in Nashville) we have been traveling now for 15 days, minus a quick 36-hour repacking stop in NYC between trips. I love the adventure of traveling, but to be honest, I'm ready to get home!![recipe:best-roasted-branzino-brussels-sprouts-recipe]
All of the travel also means lots of not-so-healthy meals, from the pre-made sandwiches grabbed at airports to fried fish and chips eaten at bus stops around Iceland to the greasy burgers and fries we ate last night. Oh, and don't even get me started on the Southern home cooking we enjoyed over the holidays. All delicious, but I'm ready to get back to our usual healthy(ish) diet.
One of my favorite healthy, simple (yet impressive-looking) dinners is Whole Roasted Branzino with Brussels Sprouts and Fingerlings. Roasting a whole fish may seem intimidating, but it could not be any easier. Buy a whole branzino from your local fishmonger (you could substitute it for trout or snapper if you wanted) and ask them to gut it and scale it for you. Then once you get home, all you have to do is salt and pepper it (inside and out), and stuff the interior cavity with rosemary and thyme and lemon slices. Place the fish on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the meat is opaque and flakes easily.
I roast the Brussels sprouts and potatoes on a separate baking sheet and place them in the oven about 10 minutes before the fish. That way everything finishes baking at the same time. This is a perfect meal for a dinner party, or for a simple weeknight supper. For two people, I'd buy a fish around 1 pound or slightly larger.
One last thing to keep in mind: be careful of tiny bones when eating whole-roasted fish. They can sneak up on you, and you don't want to swallow one! To serve, slide a knife or spatula between the bones and the top fillet, lifting the fish onto the plate. Then flip the fish and remove the bottom filet the same way. (I love eating the skin, but you can remove it if you prefer.)
Serve this with a crisp, dry white wine - I think a white Cotes du Rhone would be delicious. Who said healthy eating had to be boring?!
NOTE: I actually featured this recipe on the blog over 2 years ago, but it's going in the cookbook and I wanted to share the recipe again, this time with Signe's gorgeous photos. (Click here for the recipe.) Enjoy!