In the Kitchen: Blistered Branzino

WTNH– General Manager Mike LaTronica and Chef Rob Latronica from Wheelers Restaurant & Taproom show us how to make blistered branzino.

The restaurant has a new expansion with a bar/taproom, as well as local fresh vegetable, produce, Sea2table fresh fish, meats smoked on premise and local beers on tap with Happy Hour Monday through Friday.

Wheelers Restaurant & Taproom is located at 180 Amity Road in Woodbridge. For more information, go to or call 203-553-9055.

Blistered Branzino with lightly sautéed spinach & roasted tomato panzanella salad recipe:

Panzanella Salad:
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup banyuls vinegar
1 cup frantoio extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup orange juice
2 sliced red onions
1 pt roasted cherry tomatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cubed two-day old bread, set out to dry.

2  3-4oz fillets of Branzino (European Sea Bass)
2 large handfuls baby spinach (or mixed sautéing greens)
1 clove garlic
White wine
Blended oil

Split cherry tomatoes in two, dress with oil, roast at 500* for 5-10 minutes until cooked, lightly charred is okay.  Meanwhile, whisk Dijon mustard, orange juice and vinegar together slowly drizzle olive oil into emulsification.  Combine sliced onion and tomatoes, dress mixture.

Marinate up to 3 days covered in fridge.  Toss salad with stale bread immediately before serving.

Season well-oiled fish with salt and cayenne pepper,.  Place skin side up closely under broiler for 3-5 minutes until skin is blistered and fish is cooked through.  Meanwhile heat olive oil over medium heat until it dances along the pan.  Add spinach and one clove crushed garlic wait 10 seconds, add a splash of white wine cook 1 minute. Toss lightly and set aside to wilt.

Place two piles of drained spinach on the plate.  Toss bread into panzanella salad, add one mound onto each bed of spinach.  Place fish skin side up over each pile.  Dress with extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of panzanella dressing, garnish with mixed fresh herbs.

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