Baking fish in a crust of sea salt seals in and enhances its flavour. Any firm fish can be cooked in this way.Decorate with a garnish of seaweed or blanched samphire and lemon slices, and break open the crust at the table to release the glorious aroma. Serve the fish with baby new potatoes roasted with olive oil and a sprinkling of dried rosemary, and steamed green vegetables such as broccoli or green beans.
1 sea bass,about 1kg/2 1/4lb,cleaned and scaled
1 sprig each of fresh fennel,rosemary and thyne mixed peppercorns
2kg/4 1/2lb coarse sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas9. Fill the cavity of the fish with the sprigs of fresh fennel, rosemary and thyme, and grind over some of the mixed peppercorns.
2. Spread half the salt in an ovenproof dish (ideally oval)and lay the sea bass on it.Cover the fish all over with a 1cm/1/2in layer of salt, pressing it down firmly. Moisten the salt lightly by spraying with water from an atomizer. Bake the fish for 30-40 minutes, until the salt crust is just beginning to colour.
3. Bring the sea bass to the table in its salt crust. Use a sharp knife to break open the crust and cut into four portions.