You’ve probably surmised that al cartoccio is Italian for “in parchment.” For this dish, because of its length, I used 2 sheets of parchment paper to enclose the fish. With a smaller branzino, you may be able to use a single large sheet, folded in half. Although this is a recreation of our meal that night, it’s not exactly what I had planned for us. True to form, I forgot to bring a few ingredients with me and her area’s markets did not have them in supply. The fish was nonetheless delicious but, if you’re interested, the “Mediterranean style” mentioned in Variations below is what I had originally intended for that evening. No matter how you decide to prepare your fish, be sure to set aside a few of the diced vegetables and chopped herbs to be used as garnish before serving. They’ll add both texture and freshness to the dish.
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Branzino al Cartoccio Recipe
1 branzino, cleaned, scaled, fins trimmed and, if desired, head and tail attached 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced thinly sliced lemon diced yellow bell pepper diced, cored, & seeded tomato chopped scallions a couple stems of fresh basil 1 or 2 rosemary branches a few parsley stems white wine olive oil salt & pepper 2 sheets of parchment paper additional diced vegetables with hand-torn basil & parsley for garnish
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