Whole Roasted Snapper on Pipérade with Herb Crouton

Serves 6


  • 6 (12–16 ounce) whole Mingo snappers, fins trimmed, gills removed, cleaned, and scaled
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 36 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut into 1-inch squares, about 6 1/2 cups
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares, about 2 cups
  • 2 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares, about 2 cups
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup verjus or dry white wine
  • 2 fresh basil sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 1/2 cups herb croutons


Rinse the snappers under cold, running water, and pat both the inside and out with paper towels until dry. Season the inside cavity of each fish with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Stuff each cavity with 3 to 4 lemon slices, 6 sprigs of thyme and 3 tablespoons roughly chopped basil. Refrigerate stuffed snappers until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil in a 6 quart round roaster over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic get too brown. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the peppers and cook until slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, verjus, and basil sprigs, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 3 minutes. Season the vegetables with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and remove from the heat.

Divide the pepper mixture evenly between two 6 quart round roasters. Arrange 3 stuffed snappers in each roaster on top of the pepper mixture. Bake the fish for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the snappers from the baking dish. Stir the remaining lemon oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, parsley, basil, and chives. Spoon 1 cup of the Pipérade onto each of 6 plates. Place 1 fish on each mound of Pipérade and serve immediately. Hot and Hot Fish Club---2008

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