photo by Jennifer Johnson
Grilling whole fish for a beach picnic really enhances the experience, and it’s actually much easier than you might think. You can also ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish for you so all you have to do is clean it slightly and stuff it before grilling.
3 whole fish (branzino or similar), scaled, cleaned, and cut vertically down center
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 lemon slices
2-3 fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley sprigs
Butcher’s twine, if needed
Cooking spray, for greasing
Allow fish to come to room temperature. Preheat grill.
Pat fish completely dry with paper towels. Season inside with a bit of salt and pepper. Place lemon slices and parsley sprigs evenly inside of cavity of fish and close. Tie with 3 pieces of butcher’s twine to keep filling inside of fish (if necessary).
Grill until flesh is flaky and cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Remove and discard twine (if using). Using a sharp knife, open up fish a bit more and remove flesh. Remove any bones. Transfer flaked fish to a serving platter and serve.