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Cedar Plank Branzino

Servings: 2

Technique tip:

Soak the cedar plank it doesn't burn in the oven while providing a great transfer of smoky flavor.

Swap option:

You can use sea bream or any light, flaky fish filet that is not more than half 1/2-inch thick.


Glaze (optional)

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup garlic, chopped

  • 2 heaping tablespoons capers, roughly chopped

  • One 12-ounce can tomatoes

  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano

  • 1 large teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seed


  • 2 branzino, butterflied

  • 2 cedar planks, soaked in water for 1 hour

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Olive oil, for drizzling


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup diced leeks (white and light green parts only), rinsed very well

  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup thinly sliced asparagus (about 1/2 pound)

  • 1 cup fresh peas, blanched if very large

  • 1 lemon, four very thin slices taken from it, and those slices cut into quarters

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine.

For the branzino:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Place fish, skin side-down, on each cedar plank and brush liberally with the glaze, if using. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

  3. Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes.

For the vegetables:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the leeks and the pepper flakes and season with a little salt.

  3. Cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender and a bit browned, 8-10 minutes.

  4. Add the asparagus and peas, and cook, tossing the mixture together, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add the sliced lemon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lemon has wilted, about 2 minutes.

  6. Add the tarragon, stir to combine well, and remove the vegetables from heat.

  7. Squeeze a little lemon juice from the remaining lemon over all.

  8. Taste and season with addition salt, if needed, and a little and black pepper.

To serve:

  1. Spoon the vegetables over the fish and serve on the cedar planks.


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