Whole baked snapper with a lemon butter sauce

Ok, so this was dinner tonight to celebrate my Mum’s birthday and can I just say, despite Jasper’s meltdown and Grover copying whatever Jasper was doing, it was a sensation. What made it? Apart from spectacularly fresh fish? The.most.delectable.lemon butter sauce and barely cooked freshest of fresh spring vegetables. Heaven.

Whole baked snapper

  • 1kg snapper, scaled and gutted (this was just right for feeding two (female) adults and a couple of kids)
  • lemon, cut into thick slices
  • salt
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Liberally rub salt over the inside of the fish then rinse and pat dry
  3. Season fish with salt all over, inside and out and lay the slices of lemon in the cavity of the fish
  4. Drizzle over some oil and rub into the skin
  5. Slash the fish to ensure even cooking
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven and your preference for how well you like your fish cooked.
Lemon Butter Sauce
  • 1 tbsp very finely diced or sliced shallots (I used a third of a brown onion very finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 peppercorns, coarsely crushed (I didn’t do this as Mum hates anything peppery)
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into 6 chunks
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Simmer shallots, wine and crushed peppercorns in a small heavy-based saucepan until there is no obvious liquid left and shallots look mushy
  2. Over a moderate heat start whisking in the butter, a chunk at a time, adding the next chunk just as the previous one has been incorporated.
  3. When all the butter is in the sauce, remove pan from the heat, still whisking, and add the lemon juice and the salt and pepper.
  4. Strain into a warm bowl and hold over warm water (not hot) until ready to serve (this takes minutes not hours). I didn’t do this at all as it was ready as the fish was ready and I just plated it up
Serve with barely cooked butter beans, sugar snaps, snow peas and broccolini tossed in a little salt and butter.