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Whole Stuffed Branzino Wrapped In An Herb Bouquet

Athena Calderone, Cook Beautiful
Whole Stuffed Branzino Wrapped In An Herb Bouquet


1 large bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch flowering chives or other flowering herbs such as thyme, cilantro, or lavender

1 large jalapeño, finely chopped (if you’re sensitive to heat, remove the seeds)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and crushed

1⁄4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

7 limes, divided


4 whole branzino (about 1 pound/ 455 g each), scaled and cleaned

Freshly cracked pepper, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 ̊F (205 ̊C).

Set aside a handful each of cilantro stems and chives for the bouquets, then finely chop the re- mainder; you should end up with about 2 cups (100 g) cilantro and about 3 tablespoons chives. Combine the chopped herbs, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and coriander. Add the oil, the zest of 1 lime, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut eight pieces of kitchen twine. Lay each fish on top of two pieces of twine. Season the cavity of the fish with salt and pepper, then rub with about half of the herb mixture, reserving the remainder. Thinly slice 2 limes and layer them in the cavity of the fish. Drizzle the outside of the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay a small handful of chive blossoms and cilantro sprigs on top of the fish and tie the twine around it. Make one tie closer to the head, and the other closer to the tail; this will secure the bouquet and help the fish cook evenly. Repeat with each fish and place on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the fish until just opaque throughout when a knife is inserted at the back- bone, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the branzino is roasting, add the juice from 1 lime and a drizzle of oil to the remaining herb mixture. Create a loose sauce, adding more lime juice and oil as needed. Taste and adjust for salt. Cut the remaining limes into wedges.

Serve the branzino on a platter with the lime wedges, a sprinkle of torn chive blossoms, pepper, and the herb sauce on the side.

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