Salt baked sea bass with warm artichoke and bacon salad
Posted on 22nd February 2022 at 18:46
Sea bass baked in a salt crust makes for beautifully moist fish. Serve it with a simple warm salad.
Wild-caught sea bass is known as the king of the sea and for good reason. This fish is not only stunning to eat but is also a large predator to other smaller species of fish.
As a large fish, it makes a great dinner party choice, especially when cooked and served whole for the table. A whole sea bass will normally feed 3-4 people as a main course or 2 if you’re greedy like me.
Sea bass has a delicate flavour and deliciously firm but flaky flesh. It pairs well with zesty flavours such as citrus fruit, fennel and green herbs.
The term sea bass actually refers to a group of fish species; the ones we catch off the coast of Devon are European Bass.
4 egg whites
2 bunches of fresh basil, leaves torn
1.25kg of sea salt
Approx. 1.5kg whole sea bass, scaled, gutted and cleaned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
200g smoked back bacon, cut into lardons
600g cooked new potatoes
1/2 red online, finely sliced
280g jar of roasted artichokes in olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salt baking the sea bass
For the sea bass, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form, then add the zest of 2 of the lemons. Chop half the basil and add to the mixture, then fold in the salt.
Slice one of the zested lemons and place it in the cavity of the fish along with half of the remaining basil.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread one-third of the egg white mixture over the tray. Lay the sea bass on top and spoon over the remaining egg white mixture, ensuring the fish is completely covered.
Bake the sea bass in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until crisp. Push the tip of a knife into the centre to see if the fish is cooked – it should be hot all the way through. Remove from oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes while you make the salad.
Making the warm artichoke and bacon salad
Meanwhile, for the salad, heat a frying pan until hot, add the vegetable oil and bacon, and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden brown and just crispy at the edges.
Tip into a serving bowl, then add the potatoes to the pan and fry until hot through and browned at the edges.
Add to the bowl, then add the red onion, artichokes and all their oil, and the last of the basil. Season well with plenty of pepper and toss together.
Carefully crack the salt crust on the fish, remove it from the fish and discard. Peel the skin from the fish and place it onto a serving plate.
Cheers ‘N’ Garn
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