It's hard to go past serving a whole fish for Christmas; it's always a show-stopper. This dish can be easily adapted to most fish, so choose the freshest the market has on the day. Also, you could easily barbecue it; adapt the cooking time accordingly.
- 1.8 kg whole snapper
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 garlic cloves
- 50 ml olive oil
- For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 kg red capsicum (about 5), cut into 2cm strips
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 60 ml red wine vinegar (¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp currants
- 2 tbsp small salted capers, rinsed
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (loosely packed)
- 1Preheat oven to 220C. Cut three slits in each side of snapper. Coarsely crush fennel seeds, peppercorns and 1 tbsp sea salt flakes in a mortar and pestle, then add garlic and crush to a paste. Rub paste into each slit and inside cavity of fish and place in a large, lightly oiled roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until just cooked (35-40 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, for peperonata, heat olive oil in a large deep-sided frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until very tender (4-5 minutes). Add capsicum and anchovies and sauté until tender (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, warm vinegar in a small saucepan, add currants, then remove from heat and set aside to soak. Add capers and currant mixture to capsicum, stir to combine, stir through parsley, season to taste and place on a serving platter. Place snapper on top, drizzle over a little extra-virgin olive oil and serve hot.
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