(= Sea Bass with Herbs in a Salt Crust)
Recommended wine: Pinot Grigio I.G.T.
Finely chop the leaves of thyme, parsley, rosemary and sage, together with the garlic and the lemon peel (only the yellow part). Wash the fish under running water and then pat it dry with kitchen paper. Take 1/3 of the chopped herb mixture and use it to carefully season inside the fish. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and delicately incorporate the remaining chopped herbs and the salt, mixing everything together thoroughly. In the bottom of a baking tray, distribute a thin layer (about 1.5 cm) of this mixture, creating a strip slightly wider than the sea bass: this will be the “bed” on which it will cook. Lay the fish on top of it and completely cover it with the rest of the mixture. Press it down delicately so that it sticks to the sea bass well, taking care that the salt and egg white doesn’t get inside the open “pocket” of the fish.
Cook in a preheated oven, at 200 °C, for about 45 minutes (if, instead of one large fish, you have two smaller ones, 300-400 g each, the cooking time will be 20-25 minutes, while the amount of salt and egg white mixture will be the same). When the cooking time is over, take the tray out of the oven and let the sea bass rest for 5 minutes in its crust. Then, transfer it onto a chopping board and break the crust by hitting it with the back of a wooden spoon. Delicately remove any lumps of salt that are attached to the skin and fillet the fish. Drizzle a little olive oil over each fillet and serve. Inside the crust the fish maintains its flavour and tenderness; if you like you can serve it accompanied by olive oil and a few slices of lemon and... buon appetito!