Chef's Recipes

Phil Wood's baked snapper with pistou

Need an easy fish dish for a dinner party? Laura's head chef shows you how.

By Phil Wood
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus resting
  • Serves 6 - 8
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"Cooking fish for a dinner party can be quite confronting, but this makes it so easy," says Phil Wood, executive chef of Laura and Pt Leo Restaurant in the Mornington Peninsula. "Snapper is a crowd favourite and when it's running in the Bay there isn't much better. You can fillet it yourself, or if you go to any good fishmonger they should be happy to do it for you. All you need to do is make a simple pistou, smother the fish with it and place it in a warm oven until the flesh is just starting to flake apart."


  • 1 side snapper (about 1kg from a 3kg fish), skin removed and pin-boned
  • Dill sprigs, to serve
  • 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 150 gm roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) basil
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp aonori flakes (optional; see note)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 100°C. Place snapper in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it snugly. Season liberally with salt and rest for 15 minutes.
  • 2
    For the pistou, process ingredients (except juice) in a food processor until a smooth paste and season to taste.
  • 3
    Spread pistou over snapper and roast until fish starts to just flake apart (30-40 minutes). Season to taste with lemon juice and scatter with dill to serve.


Aonori flakes, fine green seaweed flakes, are available from Asian supermarkets.
Drink suggestion:A pinot gris, such as Paradigm Hill Pinot Gris from the Mornington Peninsula. Drink suggestion by Andrew Murch.

  • undefined: Phil Wood