Updated: Oct 30, 2021
Ingredients for 4 people:
Veg oil for cooking
1 wedge of lemon
4x 150g snapper steak skin on
For the caponata:
Light olive oil for deep frying
3x garlic cloves thinly sliced
1x brown onion thinly sliced
1 punnet cherry tomato cut in half
1 cup olive oil
3x 20cm pieces of celery cut in 3cm sticks (yellow leaves reserved)
1x green pepper cut in 3x3cm cubes
1x green zucchini cut in 3x3cm cubes
30g toasted pinenuts
For the chermoula:
1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
1 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup olive oil
1 lemon in zeste + the juice reserved
1 small bunch parsley chopped
1 small bunch coriander chopped
1 small bunch mint chopped
Start by making the caponata. Put garlic, tomatoes and olive oil in a pot and cook on low heat without colouring till the tomato and garlic are stewed and soft.
Heat up the light olive oil in a pot to 170C and cook in separate time the onions, celery, peppers and zucchini to a light golden brown and soft texture. Drain and pat dry on paper.
Mix in a bowl the fried veggies, the stewed tomato and garlic, the raisins and the pinenuts. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the chermoula, toast lightly in a pan the coriander and cumin seeds and set in a metal bowl to cool, add all the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper and adjust with more lemon juice if it needs a little extra acidity.
Now cook the snapper. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan, add some veg oil and spread it all over the surface, add your steaks skin side down and apply a light weight (like a plate) onto the fish so that the skin stays flat, reduce the heat and let the fish cook for 1 minute or so until the skin is golden brown. Now take the plate off, add the knob of butter and with the help of a spatula flip the fish. Take off the heat and keep cooking that way for 2-3 minutes depending the thickness of the fish. Finish with lemon juice. If you check inside it should be just hot and if you have a thermometer take the internal temperature to 48-50C.
While your fish is cooking heat up the caponata. Divide it evenly onto 4 plates, put the fish skin side up and cover the fish with a generous amount of chermoula. Garnish with celery leaves.