Salt-Baked Fish

Early on in our marriage, my husband and I ordered a whole striped bass baked in salt at Dale, a Spanish restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts. What theater! The waiter brought it to our table on a silver platter, gave it a sharp thwack with the back of a serving spoon, then lifted away pieces of the hardened salt shell, exposing the still-steaming striper inside. He boned and fileted the fish, then portioned it out. Delicious. Afterward, I had to learn how to make salt-baked fish, and I realized that cooking it under a salt-and-herb mixture, an ancient technique, is an excellent way of preserving delicate flesh and flavor without overwhelming (or oversalting) it; also, the sealed crust insures that the fish stays moist. It’s no wonder you find this method in many places all over the world. —Jody Adams, Rialto, Cambridge, Massachusetts

See the recipe for Salt-Roasted Sea Bass »

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