Roasted Orata in a Salt Crust

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Rooftop_orata_1
Roasted Orata in a Salt Crust

1 small to medium orata per person
1 orange
250 g coasrse salt
sprig of thyme if you have have it
olive oil

Clean the fish well, but leave it whole (head and tail on….don’t be squeamish, it looks much better with its head on). You can do this with other fish that you like, but you need to have a whole fish, not a fillet.
Slice up an orange, and maybe add a slice of lemon, but go easy on the lemon,  as it will overpower the flavor of the fish.  Place the fruit in the cavity of the fish. You can add a sprig of thyme if you have one lying around.
Now press both sides of the whole fish into a layer of coarse sea salt, don’t use the good stuff, kosher salt will do if that’s what you have.  If you have lots of salt on hand, and want a dramatic presentation, encase the entire fish in salt, at a least 1?2″ thick crust.
Bake at 325F for about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.  When the fish is done, bring it to the table still in its salt crust.  Serve by peeling back the salty skin.

You can make a little sauce of orange juice, olive oil and parsley, but you don’t really need it because the fish is so flavorful.
Serve with some roasted potatoes and a green salad and a crisp, cold white wine.
The fish won’t be salty, I promise.  The salt seals in all the juices and keeps the flavor of the fish intact.

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