Branzino al Cartoccio

Prep Time

25 Minutes

Cook Time

10 Minutes


Serves 4


Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!


4 ea (3 to 3 1/2oz) Branzino Fillets
4 oz Fregola Pasta or Israeli Couscous
3 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
1 1/3 cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
7 ea Kalamata Olives, Pitted and Roughly Chopped
3 tbsp Scallion, Thinly Sliced
4 ea Thyme Sprigs
1 1/2 tnsp Fresh Hot Chili, Minced (or jalapeno)
1 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest, Finely Grated
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt, Plus more for Cooking
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

Method of Preparation

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Cook the fregola for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain thoroughly.
4. Place the cooked fregola in a medium bowl and toss with 1 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil.
5. Add the tomatoes, scallion, lemon juice, chili, olives, lemon zest and 1/2 tsp of salt.
6. Toss together and set aside.
7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
8. Season the fish fillets generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
9. Arrange 4 pieces of parchment paper approximately 12in by 17in each.
10. Fold each piece of paper in half.
11. Open the parchment paper like a book and spoon one quarter of the fregola salad onto one half of each piece of the parchment paper.
12. Lay the fish fillets on top of the fregola salad, skin side up.
13. Drizzle 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil over each piece of fish.
14. Place one thyme sprig atop each fillet.
15. Fold the parchment papers over the fish fillets to the close the book.
16. Roll the edged of the paper to create a tightly sealed packet.
17. Place 2 fish packets on each of 2 baking sheets.
18. Bake for 15 minutes.
19. Serve each paper, parchment paper and all, on a plate with a wedge of lemon.

Recipe Source

Mosaic Magazine, Morgan Stanley