Grilled Sea Bream with Lemon Gremolata and Spinach


Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky

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sea bream

Sea bream, also known as orata or dourade, is ideal for grilling or poaching. It has sweet, delicate white flesh and a size and thickness that doesn't challenge most home cooks who worry about drying out their fish or, on the other hand, undercooking it. Stuffing the fish with aromatics, then serving it with a slightly sweetened gremolata, lends the subtly flavored flesh a complex and full flavor. Our East Coast porgy works well with this, or a good-size, pumpkin-shaped panfish from a southern or midwestern pond would also do just fine. If purchasing at the fish counter, ask your fishmonger to gut and scale the fish.

Serves 4

For the gremolata:

  • Zest of 2 lemons + juice of 1
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole mint leaves

For the sea bream:

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sea bream (1 1/2 pounds each), gutted and scaled Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

For the spinach:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 pound spinach, cleaned Salt to taste

To make the gremolata:

In a small heatproof bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to macerate. Add the boiling water and blanch the zest for 3 minutes. Strain the liquid from the zest and transfer the zest to a small bowl. Add the olive oil, parsley, and mint and stir to combine. Set aside.

To make the sea bream:

Prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, divide the garlic and thyme between the fish and stuff in the cavities. Drizzle the lemon juice over and rub all over with the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Grill the fish until the flesh is opaque and pulls away from the bones easily, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

To make the spinach:

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted and tender. Season with the salt.

To serve, remove the garlic and thyme from the fish cavities and top with the gremolata. Arrange over the spinach.

Reprinted from “Good Fat Cooking” by Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky. Copyright (c) 2014 by Franklin Becker. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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