Salt Baked Branzino:
2 1-pound whole Branzino, gutted and cleaned
4 sprigs rosemary
4 slices lemon
4 slices of grapefruit
1/2 cup chopped parsley
½ cup reserved fennel fronds
1 3-pound box coarse kosher salt
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks then fold in salt to form a coarse paste. Lay out a baking sheet large enough to hold the two fish. Cover sheet with 1/4 inch layer of salt.
Lay fish on salt. Stuff each fish with 2 sprigs of rosemary, ½ cup of fennel fronds, 1/4 cup of parsley, and 2 slices of lemon and 2 slices of grapefruit. Pack remaining salt over top of fish until a sealed crust is formed. Bake fish until salt is golden and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish reads 135 degrees, about 20 minutes.
Let fish stand 10 minutes.To serve: crack open salt crust. Brush off the fish gently with a pastry brush to remove the salt that remains after removing the large pieces of salt crust. Fillet fish and drizzle with Lemon olive oil. Season lightly with Sea salt and pepper.
Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes:
2 bulbs of fennel [save the tops]
12 Cherry Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Method of Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice fennel vertically [top to bottom]. Lay on large ovenproof roasting pan or cookie sheet. Wash tomatoes and leave whole place on cookie sheet with the fennel option [add a spring of rosemary]. Add salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Cook until fennel is lightly brown and caramelized and tomatoes are blistered, 15 minutes. Or until done.