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Red Snapper With Tapenade

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • One 4-pound red snapper, cleaned and scaled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence or 1 teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, and rosemary
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, cored and sliced lengthwise, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • Tapenade
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced yellow onions


  • Preheat the oven to 400?F.
  • Rinse the snapper under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Make five 3-inch slits in each side. Season each side of the fish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the herbes de Provence. Bake the fish for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the fresh basil in a large bowl. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
  • Remove the fish from the oven and thickly coat the top side of the fish, from just behind the head to just before the tail, with the tapenade. Layer the tomatoes on top of the tapenade, then top with the onions. Return the fish to the oven and bake until the juices run clear and the onions are beginning to crisp and slightly blacken around the edges, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • With a large spatula, gently lift the tomato and onion topping and underlying tapenade from the fish, and arrange around the edges of a serving platter. With two spoons, loosen the head from the body of the fish, lift it away, and discard. Run one of the spoons down the back of the fish and gently separate the flesh into the two fillets. Lift the top fillet onto the serving platter. Carefully lift the spine and other bones out of the fish and discard. Place the remaining fish fillet on the platter and serve.