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Courtesy Giada Laurentiis

This Roasted Sea Bass with Lemons  recipe is adapted from Celebrity Chef  Giada Laurentiis’ Roasted Branzino with Lemons. I can’t always find branzino, so I substitute striped bass and  sometimes red snapper. I love Giada’s recipes, for they are quick, easy, healthy and always have an Italian feel to them.



2 teaspoons olive oil

8 ounces pancetta, diced into ¼-inch pieces

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2 (1 ½-pound) whole Branzino (or striped bass or red snapper), cleaned, heads removed and filleted

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Zest of 2 lemons

¼ cup roughly chopped fennel fronds

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

2 lemons, thinly sliced

1 medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced

½ cup white wine



Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Lay a piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet. Spray the foil with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Lay the fish fillets, skin-side-down on the foil in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest, fennel fronds thyme and parsley. Spoon the mixture over the fish.

Arrange the lemon and fennel slices on top of the fish and sprinkle with the cooked pancetta. Pour the wine on top.

Lay another piece of foil on top and crimp the edges of both pieces of foil together to form a packet. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes until the flesh is flaky and cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the top piece of foil. Place the cooked lemon slices and fennel on a platter.

Transfer the fish to a cutting board. Pull back the skin from the fish. Using a sharp knife, separate the two top fillets from the backbone. Using a metal spatula, transfer the fillets to the platter.

Lift the fish backbone from the bottom fillets (the backbone should come off easily) and discard. Using the spatula, transfer the two remaining fillets to the platter.

Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest before serving.



Find Giada on The Food Network. This recipe can be found in Giada’s Family Dinners cookbook.

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