A Christmas in Burgundy
For the fish
- 1 1/2 pound
whole fish cleaned, head, tail and scales left on
- Bay leaves
- 2 pounds coarse sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil for serving
- Lemon slices
For the pistou
- 2 tablespoons
toasted pine nuts
- 2 cups
- 1/2 cup
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
pound the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar.
Add a few basil leaves and continue to pound.
Alternating basil and olive oil, continue pounding until a smooth paste is achieved.
Stir in any remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes about one cup.
For the FIsh
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse the fish with cold water, pat it dry and refrigerate until just before cooking.
Pour a layer of sea salt in the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish and place the fish on top. Place the lemon slices inside the belly cavity of the fish and season with freshly ground black pepper. Pour the remaining salt over the fish to cover it, leaving the tail fin exposed if necessary.
Place the fish in the middle rack in the center of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven and gently crack off the layer of salt, removing as much of it as you can.
Remove the filets and place on slightly warmed dinner plates. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with lemon slices and pistou.