We have a little Mediterranean seafood restaurant in town where we have always enjoyed grilled bronzini (sometimes also referred to as branzini or Mediterranean sea bass). The waiter always looks at us a bit funny when we stop him from filleting it for us at the table. Why order the whole fish if you don’t enjoy all of the perks of it?! The little morsels of meat that get stuck to the bone are scrumptious, and the itty bitty “cheek” is the best part of the whole meal!
Luckily, we were able to sample some bronzini while on our Mediterranean honeymoon of a lifetime, which makes it a romantic dish for us. I was thrilled to see it at the Portuguese supermarket today (on the way back from Social Security Administration… Changing your name is NO fun) and immediately knew I wanted to surprise my hubby with it tonight! I am adding a Portuguese twist by creating a piri piri molho (directly translated means “gravy” but could also mean “sauce” or “juice”) to drizzle on top of the fish and serving with a fresh crispy salad.
2 whole Bronzino – gutted and scaled
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil + a drizzle
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup white wine
1 small onion slivered
1 tsp. piri piri (or substitute chili powder)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1. Rinse fish, pat dry, drizzle with olive oil, and rub with kosher salt.
2. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side.
3. While fish is grilling, heat olive oil and onions over medium high heat in a small saucepan until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients except for parsley and simmer until fish is cooked.
4. When fish is done, remove from grill, and plate. Stir parsley into molho and pour over each fish.