Citrus and Herb-Stuffed Grilled Branzino

Citrus and Herb-Stuffed Grilled Branzino
Author of "My Modern Table," Chef Shaun O'Neale is preparing a delicious seafood dish with homemade garlic-scallion sauce.

Ingredients for the Citrus and Herb-Stuffed Grilled Branzino

  • 4 whole branzini (1½ to 2 pounds/680 to 910 g each), cleaned
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ orange, thinly sliced into half moons
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced into half moons
  • ½ lime, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Garlic-Scallion Sauce

  • 3 scallions, trimmed
  • 3 cloves Roasted Garlic (recipe below)
  • 2 Thai red chiles, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup (120 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (chili-garlic paste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Roasted Garlic

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Large pinch each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

Ingredients for Garnishes

  • Micro arugula
  • Finely grated lime zest
  • Maldon sea salt

Make the stuffed branzino: Preheat a grill to as hot as you can possibly get it. Alternatively, heat a large skillet or two over medium-high heat.
Season the inside cavities of the fish with salt and pepper and stuff each fish with an equal amount of orange slices, lemon slices, and lime slices (you may have some left over), the parsley, and cilantro. Tie the fish in three evenly spaced spots with butcher’s twine. Brush both sides of the fish with oil to prevent sticking. Grill the fish for about 5 minutes on each side, until it feels firm to the touch. Move the branzino to a wire rack set over a baking sheet or a plate to rest while you make the sauce.

Make the garlic-scallion sauce:
While the grill is still hot, place the scallions on the grill (or in the skillet), and cook, turning often with tongs, until charred all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and slice the scallions as thinly as possible.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the roasted garlic, charred scallions, chiles, cilantro, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and lime juice to combine the ingredients and incorporate the roasted garlic. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Make the roasted garlic:
Preheat the oven to 325° F

Cut the top off each head of garlic, slightly exposing the cloves and keeping the head intact. Place the heads on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to completely wrap all of them. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, top with the herbs, and seal the foil. Place the packet on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cloves are completely softened and lightly colored. Remove from the oven, cool, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (store the garlic bulbs whole and squeeze the cloves out from the skins as you’re ready to use them).

To serve: Remove the twine from each fish and place a whole fish in the center of each plate. If you made black rice, gently place some in a line running down the spine of the fish. Top the fish with garlic-scallion sauce and garnish with micro arugula, lime zest, and a sprinkle of salt.

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