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Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Yield
Makes 8 servings as part of this menu; 4 servings as a stand-alone entrée (recipe can easily be doubled)
Lisa Romerein

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°. Move rack to middle of oven. Stuff cavity of each fish with herb sprigs and slices of lemon and garlic, dividing evenly. Coat fish with olive oil.

Step 2

In a very large bowl, combine salt with egg whites and 2 cups water. Mix with your hands, then add in another 2 cups water, mixing, until the salt feels like moist sand (you may need a little more water).

Step 3

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 in. of the salt mixture. Arrange the two fish nose to tail on the salt, leaving at least 1 1/2 in. space between them. Cover each with an even 1/2-in. layer of salt mixture, patting to adhere (no part of fish should remain exposed) and leaving a crevice between the fish so they cook evenly. Bake 30 minutes, or until salt crust is very pale gold and hard to the touch, like ceramic.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make sauce: Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry (but not more than 2 hours ahead or the herbs will lose their fresh taste).

Step 5

Working with one fish at a time, tap hard salt crust with a small hammer or meat mallet to crack it. Lift off chunks of crust and brush any remaining salt off fish (a pastry brush is useful here).

Step 6

With a large fork, carefully peel back skin, starting at spine and working toward belly. Lift off chunks of meat with fork and transfer to a platter. Lift out skeleton with the head attached and discard. With fork, transfer the rest of the meat to the platter.

Step 7

Repeat dismantling of salt crust and filleting with remaining fish, adding meat to the platter. Serve with dressing spooned over top and more served on the side.

Step 8

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/2 fillet with 1 Tbsp. sauce.

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