This hearty, zesty dish is both healthy and comforting. 


  • 4 egg whites

  • 1.25kg/2lb 12oz sea salt

  • 2 bunches fresh basil, leaves torn

  • 3 lemons, zested

  • 1 x 2kg/4lb7oz whole sea bass, scaled, gutted and cleaned 

  • 200g/7oz smoked back bacon, cut into lardons

  • 600g/1lb 6oz cooked new potatoes

  • ½ red onion, finely sliced

  • 1 x 280g/jar roasted artichokes in olive oil, drained

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 and line a large baking tray (big enough for the fish) with silicone paper.

  • 2.

    Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until foamy, then add the zest of 2 of the lemons. Chop half the basil and add to the mixture then add the salt and mix really well to combine.

  • 3.

    Slice one of the zested lemons and place into the cavity along with half the rest of the basil.

  • 4.

    Take a third of the salt mixture and lay onto the centre of the tray then place the fish on top. Cover with the remaining salt mixture, to cover the fish totally.

  • 5.

    Place in the oven and bake for 30minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the bass is cooked. Check with the tip of a knife into the centre of the fish to see if the fish is cooked – it should be hot through. Remove and leave to rest for 15 minutes while you make the salad.

  • 6.

    Heat a frying pan until hot, add the vegetable oil and bacon and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and just crispy on the edges.

  • 7.

    Tip into a serving bowl, then add the potatoes to the pan and fry until hot through and browned on the edges. Add to the bowl, then add the red onion, artichokes and all the oil, and the last of the basil. Season well with plenty of black pepper and toss together.

  • 8.

    Carefully remove the salt crust from the sea bass and brush any excess salt away from the skin then carefully lift some fish onto the serving plate. Serve with a spoonful of salad.

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