Cooking chunks of fresh lemon on a hot grill caramelizes them, bringing out their sweetness more than their acidity. You can try limes or oranges instead for a different flavor. To offer guests at a barbecue an original palate cleanser, simply thread chunks of lemons, limes, and oranges on skewers and grill until caramelized, then pass the skewers around like lollipops between courses.
Sea bream is one of Italy’s great fish. Sweet, moist, not at all fishy, it cooks up beautifully on the grill. Substitute with red snapper.—Micol Negrin
1/2 pound boneless and skinless sea bream fillets, halved lengthwise and cut into 16 equal pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small shallots, minced
3 tablespoons minced oregano
2 large lemons, each cut into 8 thin slices
16 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. If using wooden skewers, soak 4 skewers in water to cover for 30 minutes; drain.
2. Place the sea bream fillets with the side that was touching the skin facing up. Sprinkle with the garlic, shallots, and oregano. Roll each fillet into a tight bundle.
3. Thread the sea bream bundles onto the skewers, alternating them with the lemon slices and bay leaves; keep them rather close together so the bundles don’t unravel. Drizzle the bundles with the olive oil and season with the salt.
4. Heat a grill to a high flame.
5. Cook the skewers until the sea bream is firm to the touch and opaque all the way through, turning every minute or so to cook evenly, about 7 minutes total. Serve hot, sprinkled with the pepper.
Recipe © 2005 Micol Negrin. All rights reserved.