Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine
Salt-Crusted Snapper with Eggplant-Raisin Puree
© Kate Mathis

Salt-Crusted Snapper with Eggplant-Raisin Puree

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • HEALTHY

Top Chef Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio says fish in a salt crust is sexy.

  1. Three 4-inch cinnamon sticks
  2. 1 medium eggplant (1 pound)
  3. 1/4 cup golden raisins
  4. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. Sea salt
  6. Cayenne pepper
  7. 3 pounds kosher salt
  8. 2 cups water
  9. One 2-pound cleaned red snapper
  10. 2 bay leaves
  11. 1/2 lemon, preferably Meyer lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Poke the cinnamon into the eggplant. Roast the eggplant on a baking sheet until tender, about 50 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool slightly. Discard the cinnamon and peel the eggplant.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, cover the raisins with water and microwave at high power until plumped, about 30 seconds. Drain the raisins and transfer them to a blender. Add the roasted eggplant and the olive oil and puree until smooth. Season the puree with sea salt and cayenne.
  3. In a bowl, mix the kosher salt with the water until it is the consistency of moist sand. On a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, mound one-fourth of the salt slightly larger than the fish. Lay the fish on the salt and fill its cavity with the bay leaves and lemon wedges. Poke a short skewer into the thickest part of the fish, just behind the head. Pack the remaining kosher salt over and around the fish to enclose it; leave the skewer visible.
  4. Bake the fish for about 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the skewer hole registers 135°. Let the fish rest for 5 minutes; crack and remove the salt crust. Serve the fish without the skin, with the eggplant puree alongside.
Serve With Arugula salad.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp Provençal rosé.