I came up with this dish when Mum brought over a beautiful whole snapper, and I needed to make do with whatever was in the fridge. But as Darren would say, that’s when the magic happens! Luckily, I’d been to the farmers’ market a couple of days before, so I had some fennel, tomatoes, olives and capers knocking around. The beauty of this dish is that it takes about 15 minutes to prepare the sauce, using only one pan, then you pour yourself a vino and put your feet up while the oven does the rest.
1 tablespoon ghee
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
40 g (1⁄4 cup) olives, pitted and
2 tablespoons capers, drained
and rinsed (see note)
sea salt and freshly ground
250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
1 x 600 g whole snapper, cleaned
small handful of torn flat-leaf
parsley leaves, to serve
small handful of dill fronds,
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Heat the ghee in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the
garlic, onion and fennel for about 10 minutes, until soft. Stir in the tomato,
olives and capers (if you’re not frying them), season to taste and cook for
about 2 minutes until the tomato starts to fall apart and create a sauce.
Pour in the white wine and cook the mixture for another couple of minutes
until the wine has reduced and the sauce smells divine.
Meanwhile, zest the lemon, then cut it in half and slice one of the halves into
semi-circles. Set the remaining half aside.
Score the fish 3–4 times diagonally on both sides, making the incisions on
one side large enough to fit the slices of lemon.
Remove the pan from the heat and place the fish on top of the sauce,
spooning some of the mixture over the fish and into the cavities. Push the
lemon slices into the scored incisions. If the fish is too big for the pan, cut
off the tail or head and put it back in the pan – don’t throw it away! Cover the
pan with foil and place it in the oven to cook for about 15–20 minutes or until
the internal temperature of the fish reaches 60°C (you can check this with a
meat thermometer). If you’re cooking a larger snapper (say 1 kg), it will take
around 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven, discard the foil and squeeze
the remaining lemon over the fish. Serve, topped with the lemon zest, torn
parsley and dill. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.
To make crunchy capers, omit the capers from the sauce then, while the fish is baking, toss
the capers in 1 tablespoon of cornflour and fry in a small frying pan in 1 teaspoon of ghee
over medium heat until crisp and golden brown. Scatter over the top of the fish when
ready to serve.
Magdalena Roze’s debut cookbook is all about enjoying food, the natural way. It is also about achieving a balanced lifestyle with simple rituals that nourish the body and soul, and teach us the importance of slowing down, bringing an element of simplicity and wholeness into our lives.
Magdalena’s food is simple, nutritious and delicious. Many of her recipes are based on traditional wholefoods or ‘foods with a function’ that not only taste great but also have great health benefits…
HAPPY AND WHOLE
Wholefood recipes and ideas to nourish the body, soul and home.
Published April 2017
RRP $39.99 / Paperback
“This book is about the joy of cooking and sharing food, slowing
down and moving towards a more natural and balanced way of
nourishing ourselves. It’s all about a commonsense approach
that focuses on real, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods that make
us feel good and are as close to their natural state as possible.” – Magdalena Roze