Whole, Roasted Snapper: Easy weeknight meal or disaster in the making?

As much as I enjoy eating whole fish, I almost never make it at home. My few attempts have been on the grill during the summer (with Hubs’s grilling skills), which led me to the sentiment above: easy-peasy weeknight dinner, or disaster in the making?


When I stopped by the fish counter this morning, I had every intention of buying white fish fillets, but nothing looked great or reasonably priced, and then the whole red snapper caught my eye. Why not? I’d roast it simply in the oven with some fresh herbs, lemon, garlic and olive oil. Easy, right? And to hedge my bets, I also picked up salad and a few russet potatoes to prepare as a side dish. If the fish elicits any moans, the crispy, roasted potatoes will neutralize them.

In my head, I had figured out the ingredients, but I did a little research to double check cooking temperature and times. I will loosely follow this recipe from Anne Burrell.

Whole Roasted Red Snapper

1 (2 pound) fish, such as snapper or bass, scaled, gutted and gills removed
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 lemon slices
2 fresh bay leaves
1 bundle assorted fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, marjoram and parsley, plus some extra to lay the fish on while baking
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cups dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Using a sharp paring knife, make 3 diagonal slices about 1/2-inch deep on each side of the fish. Salt and olive oil the fish generously.  Season the inside of the fish with salt and olive oil. Place 4 lemon slices, the bay leaves, a bundle of the mixed herbs and 2 of the garlic cloves inside the body cavity.

Ready for the oven: Red Snapper dressed with lemon, herbs, and garlic

Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil and arrange the remaining assorted herbs, lemon slices and garlic in the center of the tray and lay the fish on top.

Fold the aluminum foil up around the sides of the fish to create a sort of baking dish. Add the white wine and place in the preheated oven and roast until the fish is just cooked through, about 30 to 35 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Fillet your fish tableside or at the kitchen counter. Drizzle fillets with olive oil and additional salt and pepper as needed. Happy Eating.

Will report out tomorrow: easy peasy or weeknight disaster. Stay tuned

2 thoughts on “Whole, Roasted Snapper: Easy weeknight meal or disaster in the making?

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