Let us introduce you to Chermoula, a spicy North African sauce that enlivens meat, poultry, and especially fish. With herbs, earthy spices, and lemon, it is a great marinade and terrific condiment. You can also find a new twist with the addition of roasted tomatillos.
The lightness of fish like trout or branzino lets the sauce really shine, which is one reason we love this recipe so much, oh that and, it is super easy to throw together during the week.
Now that the sauce is made, here is your quick fish tutorial:
What you need:
3 (1-lb.) whole branzino, cleaned and scaled, fins removed
6 large mint sprigs 12 (2-in.)
lemon peel strips (from 2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
How to do it:
Prepare the fish: Cut 3 (1/4-inch-deep) diagonal slits on each side of fish. Place mint sprigs and lemon peel strips in cavity of fish. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Rub fish with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prepare a wood or charcoal grill. (See “Hearth-fired Hack,” below.) Close vent holes on grill lid completely. (This is important; closing the vent holes will cut off oxygen to the fire so there are no flames coming up to burn the oil on the fish.) Place fish on oiled grate over direct heat. Immediately close grill lid. Grill, undisturbed, until skin is crispy and starting to char, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula so you don’t tear the skin, carefully turn fish charred side up; transfer to indirect heat. Top each fish with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chermoula. Open vent holes on grill lid; close lid, and grill until fish flakes easily with a fork and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°F, 7 to 9 minutes.
Spread remaining chermoula on a platter. Top with fish. Serve with lemon wedges and, if desired, a drizzle of olive oil.