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Whole Grilled Branzino in Livornese Sauce


For the sauce:

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups red wine

1 (28-ounce) can pureed Italian plum tomatoes

3 tablespoons capers

½ cup sliced green olives

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ pound Chinese broccoli, chopped into 1-inch pieces (or substitute broccoli rabe)

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt and black pepper

For the fish:

3 (2-pound) whole branzino

Olive oil


½ cup vegetable oil


  1. Make the sauce: In a large pan over medium heat, saut. garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add red wine and reduce until almost dry, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, red pepper flakes, and broccoli, and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes. Finish with parsley and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the fish: Prepare grill for high, direct heat. Rinse fish under cold water and make sure gills and scales are removed. Rub olive oil all over fish and season well with salt. Set aside. Scrape down the grates well and close the lid. Oil grill grates using a paper towel and tongs: Fold paper towel over several times, moisten with vegetable oil, and hold with tongs to wipe down grates. Lay fish on grill and close lid. Let cook for 5 minutes without disturbing. Open lid and use tongs gently to see if you can lift fish off grates cleanly. Use a metal spatula to dislodge fish from any areas that may be sticking. With tongs in one hand and spatula in another, gently flip fish. Then, let it cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Gently transfer onto a baking sheet.
  3. To assemble: Spread sauce on a serving platter and lay fish on top. Serve immediately.
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