Spigola al forno in crosta di sale

Gino D'Acampo is back in the This Morning studio showing us how to cook at tasty Italian Easter speciality – spigola al forno in crosta di sale – healthy fish baked in a thyme salt crust.

Check out the full recipe and the method below if you fancy trying it out yourself.

Spigola al forno in crosta di sale (Serves 4)


  • 1kg whole sea bass, gutted with head, tail and skin on
  • 1.2kg rock salt
  • 4 tbsp of thyme leaves
  • Cold tap water as necessary
  • 100g bag of crispy mixed salad leaves

For the dressing:

  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50ml cold water
  • Juice of 1 large size lemon
  • 2 tbsp of chopped flat leaves parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 210º.

  2. Wash and clean the gutted fish under cold tap water. Please do not remove the scales from the fish.

  3. Arrange a 1cm thick layer of salt over the bottom of a baking tray.

  4. Pour the rest of the salt in a large bowl with the thyme. Mix in enough water to moisten but not over-wet the salt. You need to create a stiff slush that can be patted into shape.

  5. Place the fish on the layer of salt on the baking tray and cover with the remaining flavoured salt. The fish should be completely encased.

  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, pour the oil, water and lemon in a small bowl and sprinkle over the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and whisk all together to create a dressing. Set aside.

  8. To serve, crack open the salt crust with a spoon and lift away any large pieces of salt. Use a pastry brush to push away any remaining pieces.

  9. Cut the skin on either side of the sea bass by pulling it away with a fork. Lift the skin up, remove and discard.

  10. Run the tip of the fork down the centre of the fish, just to one side of the spine. Gently lift the first fillet onto a warm serving plate. Do the same on the other side. Turn the fish over and repeat the process.

  11. Once all four fillets are on the serving plate, drizzle over ¾ of the prepared dressing. Serve immediately with a little crispy salad tossed with the remaining lemon dressing.

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