sea bass baked in a crust of sea salt

This is for a friend of mine who has some ridiculous amount of sea bass.  So, Karen, here you go darling... I used a version of this recipe (without the fennel, which works just fine) for a dinner I once cooked for my mate Cindy.  She provided Dom Perignon champagne.  Not a bad marriage in having the finest champagne with this beautifully prepared fish.  

1 sea bass, cleaned and scaled, get a nice piece around 1kg from your fishmonger
1 tbsp of fresh (or dried) oregano, preferably from Greece
2 thin slices of lemon
1 spring of fennel
over 2kg of sea salt (coarse)
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp of olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.   Get it nice and hot, folks.
2. Wash your sea bass under cold water and pat dry afterwards.  Lightly season the cavity with salt and generously with pepper, and stuff it with lemon, fennel, oregano, and olive oil.
3. Spread half the salt on the bottom of a shallow baking tray (Pyrex works fine), and lay the sea bass on top.  Cover the fish with the rest of the salt, and make sure you press down with your hand to get the salt crystals nicely packed.  I like to spray some water (or just drizzle) on the top layer of salt before placing in the oven.
4. Bake for around 35-45 minutes (or until you see the salt crust getting a light golden colour).

Serve with a freshly-prepared tomatoe salsa with some Kalamata olives on the side.  Also a nice garlic paste complements the sea bass.  And get really nice bread, like sourdough, to deep into the juices (as we call it 'paparra').

By the way, happy Easter today to everyone who's not celebrating next weekend.  We're going to have a big feast in Oxford with my mates to celebrate the Orthodox Easter (we like to use the lunar calendar that our Jewish brethren resort to).

No comments: