Cedar Plank Branzino with Leeks, Peas and Asparagus
Scott Conant
Zach Pagano/TODAY
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4.2272725 (22 rated)
Cook time:
Prep time:

I love this recipe because it's healthy, flavorful and I never feel guilty eating it. The fresh spring vegetables compliment the light, flaky fish while the lemon adds a fresh brightness.

Technique tip: Soak the cedar plank it doesn't burn in the oven while providing a great transfer of smoky flavor.

Swap option: You can use sea bream or any light, flaky fish filet that is not more than half 1/2-inch thick.


  • Glaze (optional)

    • 1 onion, finely diced
    • 1/2 cup garlic, chopped
    • 2 heaping tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
    • One 12-ounce can tomatoes
    • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
    • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
    • 1 large teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seed
  • Branzino

    • 2 branzino, butterflied
    • 2 cedar planks, soaked in water for 1 hour
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Vegetables

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup diced leeks (white and light green parts only), rinsed very well
    • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 cup thinly sliced asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
    • 1 cup fresh peas, blanched if very large
    • 1 lemon, four very thin slices taken from it, and those slices cut into quarters
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the glaze:

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine.

For the branzino:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Place fish, skin side-down, on each cedar plank and brush liberally with the glaze, if using. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

3. Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes.

For the vegetables:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and the pepper flakes and season with a little salt. Cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender and a bit browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the asparagus and peas, and cook, tossing the mixture together, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the sliced lemon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lemon has wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the tarragon, stir to combine well, and remove the vegetables from heat. Squeeze a little lemon juice from the remaining lemon over all. Taste and season with addition salt, if needed, and a little and black pepper.

To serve:

Spoon the vegetables over the fish and serve on the cedar planks.

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Light dinner recipe: Make Scott Conant's branzino with fresh veggies

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