Branzino al Sale

Long lazy summer days, eating out late into the evening with friends by a tranquil canal, or having a relaxed lunch on your own terrace overlooking a delightful campo. Where better to be inspired to cook than in Venice, with amazingly fresh fish from Rialto and locally grown ’nostrano’ vegetables to ’throw’ together, to delicious puddings and pasticcerie.

When I am Venice I think about food all the time… it’s all around you!  With so many specialist shops and those wonderful grocers where they will serve you 100 gms of prosciutto as if it were made of gold… it’s delightful… a true pleasure

Here Skye shows us how to make something which is both simple and spectacular… amazing!

This is one of my favourite ways to cook fish, as it is so simple and always looks utterly spectacular. It is my go-to dish for parties and special occasions.
Don’t be put off by the gargantuan amounts of salt used for baking the fish – you discard most of the salt when you take the dish out of the oven, so you will find that you barely taste it except for the gentlest hint of flavour.

But the salt crust in which you cook the bass gently steams the fish to tender perfection.

If you can find a wild sea bass, I find that the flesh is more flavoursome than the farmed variety – but otherwise, farmed is just fine too.
If you are cooking for a large group, I tend to bake two or three fish and serve them at the table whole. I like to serve this with a light tomato or fennel salad and a drizzle of olive oil – something light and delicate, and just what you feel like on a hot summer’s evening.