Sea bass baked in herbed salt

There’s no need to remove the fish scales for this recipe. The entire skin can be peeled away before eating. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs can be substituted but cut amounts by half. Serves 2

2 sea bass (or other firm, white-flesh fish), 6-8oz. each, cleaned
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 Tbsp. fennel leaf tops, minced
3 lbs. coarse salt
2 egg whites
fresh parsley, chopped
black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice two 1/4″ rounds from the lemon. Cut each in half and insert 2 halves, along with a clove of garlic, into the cavity of the fish.
2. Combine the rosemary, thyme, and fennel with the salt, then add the egg whites and thoroughly mix together. Distribute about half of this onto a large enough baking pan that has been covered with parchment paper, press firmly, allowing enough area space to hold the fish, but not much more.
3. Place the sea bass on the salt layer and cover with remaining salt, compacting the top uniformly to ensure an even crust. Take care not to get any salt into the fish cavity. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove and let rest for a few minutes.
4. To release fish, firmly but gently tap the salt crust with a small mallet or the blunt edge of a knife. Carefully peel away the salt, and using a spatula, serve each fish on individual plates. Peel off the skin, taking care not to burn your fingers. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over all. Sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a mixed garden salad and brown rice.

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