Red Snapper With a Tomato Herb Crust


Despite Greece having a mild winter, the general population does stay in quite a bit. Greeks will opt for for cozy nights at home with friends or out at a taverna or club.

Either way, you don’t see many Greeks doing outdoor grilling (in the winter). Greeks rate seafood integral to their diet and in the winter, fish and seafood get the skillet or oven treatment.

One of the most common fish dishes is Psari Plaki. It usually denotes a fish baked in the oven with tomatoes and onions and such.

There are many “takes” on this dish but I found this version to appeal to my sense of sight more than the traditional Psari Plaki.

I used red snapper fillets, baked them with a saute of celery, red onions and some fresh parsley. The upper topping consists of oven-roasted plum tomatoes which are all held together with homemade toasted bread crumbs.

If you want a taste of Greece in winter, try Psari Plaki. It’s light, flavourful and it has classic Greek flavours. This dish was adapted from the The Australian Woman’s Weekly Greek Cooking Class. It was a gift to me this past Christmas by my friend Kathy…thank you!

The second component of this dish is the “grilled hockey puck” you might of noticed acting as a bed for the fish.

Are you one of those people who “passes on polenta”? This alternative might do the trick. Remember my recent dessert called Semolina Halva? Well, I’ve turned the tables here and I used Semolina flour and made it into something savory.

Semolina cooks like polenta, sets like polenta and as you can see…grills like polenta! I’m not dogging polenta but this is a fabulous alternative and the taste was a wonderful surprise. I flavoured the Semolina cake with scallions, mushrooms, wine and grated Romano cheese.

This was an experiment and I kept the flavours simple. You’ll see more savory Halva from me in the future! Once again, you’re going to have to wait a bit for this recipe (I’m in a teasing mood).

Red Snapper With a Tomato Herb Crust

1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 trimmed stalk of celery, diced

3 ripe plum tomatoes, oven roasted
3/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
4 red snapper fillets

1 tsp dried Greek oregano
1/3 cup dry white wine

juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 toasted bread crumbs
extra-virgin olive oil
lemon slices for garnish

Pre-heated 350F oven

  1. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add your olive oil, onions celery and garlic and then reduce to medium and saute the vegetables for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, discard garlic and mix in your chopped parsley. Reserve.
  2. Place your fillets in a baking dish that’s been treated with a little olive oil, season the fish with salt and pepper and dried oregano.
  3. Top with the vegetable mixture, then the oven-roasted tomatoes and finally the bread crumbs.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil, the lemon juice and wine over the fish and place in the upper-middle rack of the oven for 20-30 minutes and the topping has browned.
  5. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with lemon slices immediately.

© 2008,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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38 Comments for “Red Snapper With a Tomato Herb Crust”

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Although a simple dis, you’ve got a lot of good flavors and textures going on there Peter – it looks scrumptious.

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining

says:

I have just printed this out and might even try it today. I have to go to the fish market to see what is fresh today! Love these recipes Peter!

Pixie

says:

Pete, I’ve finally figured out google reader (doh!) and have starred this dish, it sounds fabulous!

Ben

says:

Wow Peter, that dish looks really good for this northern winter. I do have to make some research in some of the ingredients you mentioned, like the polenta, but the fish looks absolutely amazing. Those roasted tomatoes are perfect, they always give dishes the perfect touch.

Cheers!

noble pig

says:

Peter-

This reminds me a great evening once spent with good friends. Thanks for sharing.

Proud Italian Cook

says:

Love your “faux” polenta idea, but I’m a big polenta fan. Always grill it in the summer here. I”m loving those tomatoes you have on your snappper, everything sounds so flavorful!

RecipeGirl

says:

Looks delicious. I like the idea of the hockey puck that you made! Guess I’ll have to add Greek oregano to my spice cupboard :)

Maryann

says:

I have a weakness for oven roasted tomatoes. We have them all on their own when the “tomato storm” hits and there is an overabundance in summer.
Good job here, Peter ;)

Peter G

says:

Peter you seriously do great things with seafood. Fantastic cmbiation of flavours and I’m loving the tomatoes in this!

Allen

says:

I’m intrigued by the semolina — everything looks great, Peter. So many wonderful flavors in one dish!

Zen Chef

says:

Oh oh. That’s looks really good!
I’m not all that familiar with Greek food but that makes me want to experiment a bit.

Heather

says:

I might steal your idea of using semolina in lieu of polenta for a grilled cake. I love grilled polenta, but I imagine this has a finer texture (and doesn’t fall apart on the grill).

giz

says:

I could so eat this a couple of times a week. The richness of the combination is beautiful and it doesn’t even look like meatloaf.

Heather

says:

Did you leave my comment out, or did it not go through? Stupid Blogspot! :(

Your snapper looks really yummy, Peter. I like your semolina cakes, too.

Cakelaw

says:

Beautiful colours in this dish Peter. I don’t mind polenta, but the semolina certainly sounds interesting.

katiez

says:

Semolina cake! I like that! Now, if I could only BUY semolina here…maybe at the ‘international health food’ store.
Fish looks yummy, too!

amy

says:

This looks really good and in fact has given me the inspiration for our dinner tonight. THANKS! I really like your blog. Honestly, greek cuisine was one that I never really thought had much depth, but you are convincing me that it does (I’m just being honest!! No disrespect! Cat Cora turned me off to Greek Cuisine). Keep up the good work. – amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com

Christine

says:

This sounds and looks fantastic. We get wonderful snapper from our local waters. This is a recipe I would serve to company!

Wendy

says:

This looks beautiful. Funnily enough, the best fish I have ever had was in a little fish restaurant in Katelios in Kefalonia and it was red snapper.

Peter M

says:

Emi, ’tis a simple plating but thanks Missy!

Nina, flavour is always priority #1.

Judy, I look forward to your rendition.

Pixie, google reader is your friend.

Ben, it’s semolina flour, has much of the same properties as polenta, great taste too.

Noble Pig, glad to have triggered fond memories.

Cheese puff, I try to!

Maria, I like polenta too…this is a wonderful alternative for those that don’t.

Lori, oregano is the super-herb.

Maryann, I love roasting them to squeeze the flavour to the utmost degree.

Peter, our summer home in Greece is by the sea…I have my inspiration.

Allen, the semolina cake was well received…watch for uses of it here.

Heather, you’re gonna dig the semolina. Be patient when grilling it, like polenta.

Zen Chef, you’ve come to the right blog for Greek food.

Katie, semolina should be found there…I’m surprised.

Amy, I’m elated to hear comments like yours. One of my goals is to let people in on good, great, tasty greek food.

Christine, I still want some those mussels you have nearby!

Wendy, when in Greece one should indulge in the fresh seafood.

Catherine Wilkinson

says:

Lovely! Easy, great combo of flavors and textures…perfect!
I’m liking Greek food more and more!

Rosie

says:

Peter you make your fish dish look so appealing with wonderful colours to delight the eye. Beautiful recipe and pictures.

Helene

says:

I’m moving next to Peter. Looks great. No need to go out with those beautiful meals.

Núria

says:

Hola Peter! I wish my computer had a button I could press and get the dishes I like ready in a minute… I would have this one for lunch today!!!!

Anonymous

says:

You’re welcome Peter! Good to see you’re trying a recipe from the magazine. Your dish looks scrumptious as usual !

K