I’ve had branzino fish in restaurants plenty of times. But never thought to make it at home. Not until I saw frozen branzino fillets in Trader Joe’s. My eyes got wide with excitement. If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I keep a supply of frozen fish on hand. But I usually have to hit the fish market if I want to try a more exciting variety. Anyway, I hurriedly added a bag to my cart and tucked it away in the freezer when I got home.
The fish was forgotten until I came across it the other week while doing inventory for meal prep. I checked to see what other ingredients I had on hand to make the fish interesting. And found fresh lemon, garlic and capers. Then came the idea of Lemon Garlic Branzino with capers. One of the best recipe ideas of my life.
The dish came together quickly in a hot cast iron skillet. Bursting with flavor, the ingredients merged so seamlessly. The Lemon Garlic Branzino was absolutely delicious. Even my son who doesn’t get too excited about any dish these days raved about how good the fish was, and was looking for more. Simple sides of jasmine rice and steamed spinach were perfect accompaniments to the fish. It would also taste great with roasted or mashed potatoes. Now let’s get to that Lemon Garlic Branzino recipe so that you can see how good it is for yourself.
Lemon Garlic Branzino With Capers
- 2 branzino fillets (thaw if frozen)
- 1/2 lemon (sliced into rounds)
- 1/2 lemon (to squeeze)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- dash black pepper
- dash cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp green seasoning (optional)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 2 tbsp cooking wine
- 1/2 tbsp capers (non pareil)
- 10" Cast Iron Skillet
- Clean the branzino fillets with the lemon juice. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Cut the lemon in half. Slice one half into rounds, and set the other half aside.
- Season the branzino fillets with the sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and green seasoning (optional). Squeeze the juice of the other half of lemon over the fish.
- Heat the cast iron skillet and add the olive oil to the pan.
- Add the crushed garlic to the pan and sauté until tender.
- Add the capers to the pan and sauté for another minute.
- Add the lemon rounds to the pan and sear 3 minutes on each side, until brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Now add the branzino fillets to the pan, flesh side down. Cook about 3 minutes.
- Pour the cooking wine into the pan to deglaze and add additional flavor.
- Flip the fish over to skin side down and let the fish sear for 3-5 minutes until the skin is slightly crispy and easily releases from the pan.
- Turn off the heat and top the fish with the browned lemon rounds.
- Serve hot.