- 3 lemons
- 1 snapper (about 2kg), scaled and cleaned
- 6 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds and trimmings reserved
- 200 ml dry vermouth
- 90 ml olive oil
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 celeriac (about 750gm), cut into batons
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup (loosely packed) mint
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Thinly slice 2 lemons, stuff fish cavity with sliced lemon and fennel trimmings, tie at intervals with kitchen string, place in a roasting pan. Cut half the fennel into thin wedges and scatter around fish, add vermouth, drizzle fish and fennel with 40ml olive oil and season generously to taste. Roast until just cooked through (45-50 minutes). Carefully remove fish from pan, cover with foil, keep warm.
- 2Transfer roast fennel to a bowl, set aside. Strain cooking juices into a saucepan, simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 50ml (5-6 minutes). Squeeze in juice of remaining lemon, add extra-virgin olive oil, whisk to combine, season to taste and keep warm.
- 3Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a roasting pan in oven until hot, add celeriac, shaking to coat in oil, season to taste, roast in oven with fish until tender and golden (20-25 minutes), add to roast fennel, keep warm.
- 4Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, carefully add eggs and cook until soft-boiled (6 minutes), drain and refresh, then peel and set aside.
- 5Thinly shave remaining fennel with a mandolin, place in a bowl of iced acidulated water (see cook’s notes p178) with reserved fronds until crisp, then drain and add to roast fennel mixture. Crumble in soft egg, add mint, drizzle over dressing, toss lightly to combine and serve immediately with fish.
Drink Suggestion: Dry, minerally Italian white such as a Gavi. Drink suggestion by Max Allen