Pan-Fried Snapper With Fennel & Salsa Verde

When you want more than a sqeeze of lemon on your fish, Italian salsa verde adds tons of flavour.


Salsa Verde
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp chopped drained nonpareil capers
1 tbsp minced shallots
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetables and Fish
5 tbsp. olive oil
3 small fennel bulbs (about 1 lb. total), trimmed and cut from tip to core into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 small lemons, cut in half crosswise
4 6-oz. red snapper fillets with skin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1: To make the salsa verde, in a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, scallions, basil, parsley, rosemary, capers, shallots, and lemon zest together. Set aside at room temperature.

Step 2: To cook the vegetables and fish, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, then lay half of the fennel and onion slices in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until tender and golden brown (don’t worry if the slices fall apart). Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with 1 tbsp of the remaining olive oil and the remaining fennel and onions. This time, place the lemon halves cut side down in the skillet alongside the vegetables and cook for about 1 minute, or until they begin to brown on the cut sides. Remove the lemons from the skillet and squeeze 1/4 cup of juice from about 4 of the lemon halves. Stir the juice into the salsa verde. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve the remaining lemons for serving.

Step 3: Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin side of each fillet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, then lay the snapper fillets skin side down in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Turn the fish over and cook for about 1 minute more, or until the fish is barely opaque when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small knife.

Step 4: Divide the fennel mixture evenly among four dinner plates and place the fish alongside. Drizzle with the salsa verde and serve with the reserved caramelized lemons.

See more recipes from Curtis Stone.

Reprinted with permission from What’s For Dinner? (2013 Appetite for Random House Canada)