Trout Roasted in Salt, Italian Fisherman-Style
An easy and tasty way to introduce fish to the seafood-avoiders in your life is to roast up some trout in a bed of salt. It’s a beautifully simple preparation, too: The fish steams under its salt crust, and the flaky flesh within remains succulently juicy, mild-tasting and, no, not at all salty. Plus there’s nothing like the “Wow!” you get when you bring a whole fish to the table under pounds of salt.
2 (3-lb.) boxes kosher salt
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 whole trout, about 1 lb. each
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs each fresh basil, thyme and rosemary
• Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Pour the contents of one box of salt in a roasting pan large enough to hold the fish side by side. Pour the other box of salt into an ovenproof pan or baking dish. Put both pans in the oven to heat for 20 minutes.
• In a small bowl, stir together the garlic and olive oil. Open trout like a book and drizzle the oil over the flesh, using your fingers to distribute it evenly. Arrange 2 lemon slices on one half of each trout and sprinkle with pepper; scatter with the herb sprigs and close.
• Nestle the trout into the hot salt in the roasting pan and pour the remaining pan of salt over to cover, patting it down gently.
• Roast 20 minutes; remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before scooping off the top layer of salt. Carefully lift the fish out of the pan with a spatula and transfer to a serving platter.
• To serve, present each trout whole, or use a spatula to gently lift each fillet away from the skin, discarding the backbone.