Roasted Whole Sea Bass with Bay Leaves
Fresh bay leaves lend a sweet fragrance to the mild fish.
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
20 bay leaves, preferably fresh
One 4 1/2 - to 5-pound sea bass
1. Preheat the oven to 500°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of the salt roughly in the shape of the fish. Scatter half of the butter pieces and 8 of the bay leaves over the salt. Set the fish on the salt and stuff 6 bay leaves into the cavity. Top the fish with the remaining butter, 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 6 bay leaves.
2. Bake the fish in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Use 2 large spatulas to transfer the fish to a platter. Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately.