Grilled Branzino with Tomato-Pinot Grigio Salad
4 1-pound whole branzinos (scaled and gutted, heads and tails removed)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 thyme sprigs
4 bay leaves
2 lemons (1 thinly sliced, 1 cut into wedges)
4 tablespoons plus 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 whole ripe red tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
1 cup dry Pinot Grigio
Finely chopped parsley, for garnish
Fire the grill. Season the fish cavities with salt and pepper, then stuff each with a thyme sprig, a bay leaf and 2 lemon slices. Rub the outside of each branzino with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the tomatoes into quarters, place in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with 1 cup of Pinot Grigio and 2 ounces of olive oil. Remove the tomatoes from the marinade and place on the grill until well charred. Transfer to a bowl. Heat up the leftover Pinot Grigio marinade in a pan on the stove over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, then refrigerate to cool. Season dressing with salt and pepper, then drizzle over the grilled tomatoes.
Grill the branzinos over high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp—usually about 7 minutes per side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve with the tomato salad. Serves 4.
The Pinot Grigio Our Italian Editor Loves
St. Pauls 2013 Alto Adige: Full-bodied and loaded with fragrant white flowers, ripe tropical fruit, juicy yellow peach and tart green apple. The creamy palate is brightened by fresh acidity and energizing mineral notes. It’s well balanced, with more depth than many Pinot Grigios. 90 points; $18. —Kerin O’Keefe