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Red Snapper Cal-Italian

This is a popular fish dish in the restaurants of San Francisco and the wine country. I just got back from the Los Angeles area, and saw other versions on those menus. Our fish is better than anything in California, however, and this recipe works beautifully for firm fillets of snapper, redfish, amberjack, sheepshead, or drum. It’s excellent with whole snappers on the small side (such as lane snapper or vermillion snapper).

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fillets of snapper or similar fish (or whole fish 1-2 lbs.)
  • 1 fresh artichoke, quartered
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 calamata olives, pitted
  • 2 oz. fish stock
  • 2 Tbs. dry vermouth
  • 2 Tbs. virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme, leaves only
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

1. In an ovenproof skillet, baking dish, or braising pan, place the fish and then surround and top with all other ingredients.

2. Put this into the center of a preheated 425-degree oven and bake for 12-15 minutes for a whole fish, 8-10 minutes for thick fillets, a little less for thinner ones.

3. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer; you want an internal temperature of about 150 degrees.

4. When transferring to warmed plates, do the best you can to keep the fillets together; they will be falling apart a bit. Surround the fish with all the vegetables and juices from the pan.

Serves four.

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