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This Grilled Branzino with Peperonata is a Meal That’s Made to Impress

This is a dish that'll wow your whole table – and offer a wealth of extra-good-for-you nutrients.

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The Mediterranean diet – or, more simply, the foods commonly eaten throughout the Mediterranean region – are often highly touted for being especially fantastic for your health and longevity. But the reason for this is pretty straightforward: All throughout the countries that make up this area of the world, fresh produce and omega-3-rich foods reign supreme. From brightly-hued peppers to fresh, leafy herbs to all kinds of seafood, Mediterranean meals utilize both the plants and the proteins that are readily available. And that’s what makes dishes like this Grilled Branzino with Peperonata such fantastic additions to any eating approach.

Also known as European sea bass, branzino is a Mediterranean white fish with flaky, mild flesh. It’s popular throughout the region but especially in Italy, where it’s typically served
simply roasted or grilled. The Italian connection inspires pairing the fish with peperonata, a silky, succulent mixture of peppers, onions, olive oil and garlic that’s frequently served alongside meats or as a condiment. (Note that the most sustainable sea bass is farmed.) While it’s a stunning statement when you serve the whole fish, you can choose to present this main dish in different ways, if you’d like. Just remove the head and tail before plating, or debone and lay individually-portioned pieces atop the bed of peperonata for an easy-to-grab alternative when you’re feeding a crowd.

Beyond looking impressive on your dinner table, there’s another reason to love Grilled Branzino with Peperonata. This Italian dish provides 35 grams of protein per serving, plus all kinds of much-needed nutrients. From omega-3 fatty acids to vitamins A and D, this flaky fish served atop colorful peppers and tomatoes makes for one good-for-you dish. Oh, and if you’re eating low-carb, it’s kind of a perfect meal!

For more fresh, warm-weather meals inspired by the ingredients of Italy, try:

Grilled Branzino with Peperonata

Servings
4
Prep Time
35 min
Duration
65 min

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and blotted dry
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1⁄2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb bell peppers, red, yellow, orange or a combination, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • 2 1¼-lb whole branzino, scaled, cleaned, heads and tails removed if you like
  • olive oil cooking spray

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl, stir together, one-third of olive oil, capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium, warm remaining oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add sliced peppers.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until tomatoes begin to burst. Add salt and more vinegar to taste. Set aside.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Spray branzino with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Grill until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
  5. Arrange peperonata on plates. Cut each branzino in half and place on top of the peperonata. Garnish with caper-parsley salsa.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 317
  • Carbohydrate Content 10 g
  • Cholesterol Content 74 mg
  • Fat Content 15 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 335 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Sodium Content 419 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 9 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g