Sometimes I plan meals entirely around what is on sale that week at Fresh Direct. On this specific week, it was Branzino and Baby (Jerusalem) Artichokes. Branzino is my favorite fish. It’s a type of seabass and I find it just has the perfect flavor each and every time. Big fan. I’m also a big fan of artichokes… so why not try a miniaturized version? I wanted to do a healthier version of the ones we had at Bond 45a few weeks prior. (Looking back at that post I realized I ordered the Branzino that night… Funny!)
So I found this recipe a bit wasteful since you pluck off most of the outer leaves, but perhaps I’m used to regular, full size artichokes (which I prefer simply steamed and dipped in butter) and those have outer leaves that are more edible? Not sure… Anyway… you pull off most of the outer leaves until you get to the soft inner, yellowy leaves and then cut each mini archie in half.
We then tossed them in olive oil and drizzled them with balsamic vinegar. Then you roast them up!
As for the Branzino, I was far too intimidated to do a full fish, so we got our split and deboned. I still cannot deal with bones in fish… shudder.
We also had filets, so Mike and I had a little competition where I made the whole fish stuffed with veggies and cheese and roasted in parchment paper and he made it pan fried with a butter shallot sauce.
Mine looked cool. And roasting in paper was novel.
And it tasted damn good.
But how could I compete?
We are talking about butter and shallots here!
(Though this was 11 points vs 5 for mine!)
The whole meal was great, but Mike’s fish reigned supreme…
(If anyone ever questions why I love this man… refer to above picture.)
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
***Just 2 points since the artichokes and balsamic don’t count!***
- Jerusalem Artichokes (with tips snipped off, cleaned of outside leaves, and split in half)
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Toss artichoke halves in enough olive oil just to coat
- Sprinkle with salt
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
- Arrange on a silpat (or sprayed cookie sheet) so there is space between the halves
- Roast for about 30-35 minutes or until tender
Roasted Stuffed Branzino in Parchment Paper
(original recipe from Weight Watchers “Striped Bass En Papillote”)
***5 Points for a serving of half a fish***
- 1 whole branzino fish (deboned and split in half)
- Veggies for roasting (we went with onions, zucchini, canned fire roasted tomatoes)
- Cheese (we used Laughing Cow wedges)
- Cooking spray (or olive oil)
- Parchment paper (can replace with foil)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
- Spray parchment paper with spray (or coat with a bit of olive oil)
- Lay fish on parchment paper and put veggies inside fish
- Top with cheese
- Fold parchment over fish to make a packet (ours wouldn’t stay closed so we used toothpicks soaked in water, so they wouldn’t catch of fire… Thanks for that tip Lori!)
- Bake about 10 minutes or until puffed and slightly brown
- Cut open and serve immediately