Snapper Baked in Salt with Ratatouille

Gino d'Acampo's delicious fish is baked in a salt crust to seal in all the flavour and juices, and then served with chunky vegetables
By Gino D'Acampo
Snapper Baked in Salt with Ratatouille
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the snapper

  • 2 kg coarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1x1.8 kg snapper, scales left on

For the ratatouille

  • 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 1 small red pepper, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
  • 475 g (about 5 small) courgettes
  • 100 ml water

For the dressing

  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 juice of lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil

Method

1. For the snapper: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Combine the salt, thyme and egg whites in a bowl and mix well. Spread a thin layer of the salt mixture over the base of a large oval oven-proof baking dish or tin large enough to hold the fish and place the snapper on top. Spread the remaining salt mixture evenly over the snapper. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.

3. For the ratatouille: heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan over a medium heat and gently cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the tomato and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and gently cook the aubergine for 5 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon transfer to the tomato mixture. Cook the pepper for 3 minutes and then transfer to the vegetable mixture. Cook the courgettes for 3 minutes, and then transfer to the vegetable mixture.

5. Add the water to the vegetable mixture and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the vegetables are tender. Serve either hot or cold.

6. For the dressing: whisk the ingredients until combined.

7. Remove the snapper from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Using a knife, carefully break the salt crust and remove. Using a spoon, scrape off the skin and remove the flesh from the bones and transfer to plates.

8. To serve: spoon some lemon dressing over the fish and serve with ratatouille.

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