Thursday, February 18, 2010

Red Snapper with Capers and Tomatoes

Have I mentioned recently how flippin cold it's been in Alabama? Forever. Like, not a sign of global warming ANYWHERE. Al Gore???? For months. And it's snowed 37 times in three weeks.

OK, now all of my Ohio relatives are going to be calling bitching about my bitching because it has actually snowed 37 times in three weeks up there. And they tell me it's still there. At least ours is gone and it's FINALLY supposed to be in the mid-60's and sunny here this weekend. That's going to feel like 95 degrees after the winter we've been having.

And you know how when it's cold outside you tend to eat heavier dishes likes meaty stews and hearty soups? Well last week when it was miserable outside, I was in the mood for something that tasted like Spring and was light and healthy. And Whole Foods had some fabulous looking red snapper.

I found this recipe on and it sounded like just what I was looking for. Except the original called for olives. I've said it before....I hate olives. So I left them out, but if you love olives, by all means keep them in here. It will be delicious either way.

This is an easy to pull together weeknight dish or absolutely fancy enough for guests. I served mine with some roasted potatoes and some crusty bread, but this would also be great with some brown rice. If you don't like snapper, I'm sure tilapia or even chicken would work.

Here's the recipe:

Red Snapper with Black Olives, Capers, and Tomatoes
Epicurious | September 2006
Michael Schlow


25 black, salt-cured olives such as Gaeta or Kalamata, rinsed, pitted, and roughly chopped (I omitted these)
2 1/2 teaspoons bottled capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons red onion, finely diced
8 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into medium dice (I used cherry tomatoes)
10 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets, skin on (I had two large filets)
1 cup canola oil (I used about a tablespoon of olive oil and a non-stick pan to cut down on the fat)
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

In large bowl stir together olives, capers, red onion, tomatoes, basil, 3 tablespoons parsley, and olive oil. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Holding very sharp paring knife at 30-degree angle from fillets, cut 2 diagonal slits through skin and partially into flesh, making slits 1/2 inch apart.

In large heavy skillet over high heat, heat 1/3 cup canola oil until hot but not smoking. Working in 3 batches, sprinkle fillets with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and place skin-side down in hot pan. Saué until skin is rich golden brown, about 3 minutes, lowering heat if necessary to prevent burning. Turn fillets over and cook 3 minutes more. Transfer to platter and loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Cook remaining two batches in same manner, wiping pan clean between batches and starting with fresh oil for each batch. (I only had enough fish for one batch.)

After removing last batch of fish, (at this point I added a couple of cloves of minced garlic and then...) pour lemon juice into pan and swirl around to combine with pan juices. (I then added the tomato mixture to the pan just long enough to heat it through, about 3-5 minutes. I then poured it directly over the fish. In the summertime I may not heat it.) Drizzle over fish, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parsley. Garnish with tomato-olive mixture.


  1. I made this and it WAS delicious! I kept the Kalamata olives and used cherry tomatoes. This recipe is staying in rotation year round. Thanks!!


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