Roasted Branzino With Basil & Aleppo Pepper

10th August 2017

Interview: Sophie Missing
Photographs: Sean Santiago

“Roasting a whole fish is easier than dealing with fillets, in my opinion. Cooked on the bone, protected by the skin, it’s almost impossible to overcook. And while I don’t think of myself as a shallow person, they do look stunning, which might be reason enough to give it a go. Feel free to adapt this based on what you have. Roasted fish in this fashion is excellent with nearly any combination of citrus and herb (orange and rosemary! lime and cilantro!), so go wild.”
Alison Roman, food writer, Brooklyn, NYC

4 Servings


2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tbsp Aleppo pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
⅓ cup (80ml) olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
2 x 1¼ lb (approx. 550g) branzino, gutted and scaled
2 lemons, divided
4 sprigs basil, plus leaves for serving
1 cup (approx. 120g) cilantro, tender leaves and stems


Combine garlic, Aleppo pepper, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450° (230C).

Thinly slice one lemon and halve the other one.

Divide the lemon slices and basil sprigs between the two fish, seasoning with salt and pepper while you’re at it. You can tie them with butchers’ twine if you like, but the lemon slices and basil should stay put if you don’t have any handy. Rub the outside of the fish with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Place prepared fish on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, without turning, until the fish is cooked through and the skin is starting to brown, 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss cilantro and remaining basil together, seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve fish with spiced garlic oil, herbs and halved lemon alongside for squeezing.

Posted 10th August 2017

In Recipes


Interview: Sophie Missing
Photographs: Sean Santiago