Salt-Crusted Baked Fish with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

2 cups grape tomatoes
Vera Jane's Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 cups kosher salt
5 egg whites, lightly whipped
1 whole fish (about 2 pounds), cleaned and scaled
4 garlic cloves (finely smashed) and 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus additional for garnish
4 thin slices fresh lemon
1 pinch saffron threads, crumbled and covered by 1 Tbsp hot water
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp good-quality sherry vinegar
4 Tbsp chicken stock
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss grape tomatoes in 2 Tbsp olive oil and roast until skin starts to open and brown (about 10 minutes). While the grape tomatoes are roasting, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with olive oil. Mix salt and egg whites in a bowl until evenly moist – this should have the consistency of a paste; if not, add a Tbsp of water. Place the fish on the baking sheet and fill the cavity with the smashed garlic, parsley sprigs, and lemon slices. Completely cover the fish with the salt and egg white mixture. Bake the fish until cooked through, about 25 minutes for a 2-lb fish. (Increase cooking time 5 minutes for each additional pound.)

While the fish is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan over low to medium heat. Add the saffron threads that

have been soaked in hot water, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the shallot and chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Add the roasted grape tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and chicken stock and cook about 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and add the chopped parsley; season with black pepper.

To serve: Using a large spoon, tap the salt crust to crack, and lift it off the fish in large pieces. Now carefully remove the skin of the fish. Run a knife along the backbone of the fish to separate the top fillet. Then lift off the bones to reveal the bottom fillet. Transfer the filleted fish to plates, and top with the roasted tomato vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh parsley. Makes 2 servings

Note: A two-poound fish will serve two people. For larger parties, cook additional fish of the same size or a larger fish. You should figure about one pound per person because of the weight of the whole fish with bones.

Makes 2 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains EggsContains Fish

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