Sauteed Red Snapper with Roasted Tomatoes

Sauteed Red Snapper with Roasted Tomatoes

This recipe was excerpted from Great Fish Quick by Leslie Revsin

4 servings
Prep and cooking time 35-40 minutes

Even lackluster winter tomatoes take on good flavor when you roast them until they're soft and blistered, making them more intense and slightly smoky in taste. Adding chopped garlic, a little soy sauce, dried oregano, basil, and lemon juice turns them into a simple, refreshing, and slightly rich accompaniment for snapper--or bass, sole, grilled catfish, salmon, shark, monkfish, or trout--fillets. And you can fold the tomatoes into leftover pieces of cooked fish, room temperature or chilled, for a good first course or lunch. (Or dollop it onto open-faced melted cheddar cheese and sourdough sandwiches for lunch!)

  • 3 ripe tomatoes, about 2 1/2" in diameter; or 5-6 large plum tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Four 7-ounce snapper fillets, each 1/2" thick
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus additional for roasting
  • the tomatoes
  • Flour for dredging
To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 550F with the rack at the top.

Rinse and dry the tomatoes, cut out and discard the core, and cut each regular tomato into 4 to 6 wedges. If using plum tomatoes, cut them in half lengthwise. Put the tomatoes in a mixing bowl and season them with salt, pepper, the oregano, and the basil. Lightly oil a large roasting pan and immediately pour the tomatoes with any juices into it, or place the plum tomatoes cut side down with any juices. Roast the tomatoes on the top rack until they're soft and squishy and the skins are blistered, 10 to 15 minutes. If the skins haven't blistered by the time the tomatoes are soft, remove them from the oven anyway, reduce the oven temperature to 400F, and lower the rack to the middle.

Scrape the tomatoes out of the roasting pan onto a cutting board and chop them into medium-size pieces-- you should have about 1 cup. (Some tomato skins are tough; if they haven't tenderized in the roasting, pick them out and discard them.) Put the chopped tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Pour the soy sauce into the roasting pan (if the pan hasn't burned) and scrape up any brown bits. Add the soy sauce and brown bits to the chopped tomatoes along with the garlic and lemon juice. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper and set it aside. (This can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.)*

Season the snapper fillets with salt and pepper. Place 1 or 2 large skillets over high heat with the vegetable oil. (If using 2 pans, divide the oil equally between them.) Meanwhile, dredge the fillets lightly in flour and pat off the excess. When the oil is hot, place the fillets in the skillet(s), skin side up, for about 3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Turn the fillets over and place the skillet(s) in the oven.

Roast the snapper fillets until they are just cooked through and still very juicy, about 5 minutes. To check, place the end of your metal spatula or a paring knife in the thickest part of one fillet and gently push or cut the flesh open slightly to see if the fillet is white and opaque throughout.

To serve: Place the snapper fillets on warm dinner plates and spoon some of the room temperature roasted tomatoes next to each. Serve right away.

*Some tomatoes are juicier than others, so the sauce may be wetter or drier, depending on the tomatoes.

Excerpted from GREAT FISH, QUICK by Leslie Revsin Copyright© 1997 by Leslie Revsin. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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