This recipe was created by chef Terrance Brennan of Manhattan's Picholine. The crust seals in moisture and adds flavor.
Amazing Seafood Recipes
Two 2-pound whole sea bass or red snappers, cleaned and scaled
Freshly ground pepper
8 sprigs each thyme, parsley and basil, plus 1/4 cup shredded basil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup (3 ounces) each fennel seeds, dill seeds and coriander seeds, toasted
9 cups kosher salt (about 3 pounds)
2 cups water
1 tomatopeeled, seeded, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 475°. Season the fish inside and out with pepper. Divide the thyme, parsley and basil sprigs and garlic between the fish cavities; close the cavities with bamboo skewers. In a bowl, combine the fennel, dill and coriander seeds with the salt and water. On a very large rimmed baking sheet, make 2 shallow piles with half of the salt mixture. Set each fish on a pile and cover completely with the remaining salt, pressing to adhere.
Bake the fish for about 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 130° in the thickest part of the fish.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tomato, olive oil and lemon juice and shredded basil; season with salt and pepper.
Using a small hammer or the back of a heavy knife, break the crust. Brush off any salt on the fish. Lift the fish from the bones onto plates and serve with the sauce.
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