Chef's Recipes

Daniel Whelan’s roast snapper

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Daniel Whelan’s roast snapper.

By Brigitte Hafner & Daniel Whelan
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 6 - 8
  • Print
Daniel Whelan’s roast snapper
"I had the pleasure of cooking with Daniel Whelan over summer, who taught me a few things," says Hafner. "Here is his roast snapper with a non-traditional salsa rossa, which he picked up while working in London."


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) wild fennel fronds (or regular)
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 gm softened butter
  • 1½ tbsp each finely chopped parsley, tarragon and basil
  • 1 snapper (2.5kg), cleaned
Salsa rossa
  • 3 red capsicum
  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup coarsely torn basil leaves
  • 60 gm caster sugar
  • 70 ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
  • To taste: extra-virgin olive oil
  • 250 gm kalamata olives, pitted
  • 40 gm small salted capers, rinsed
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 6-8 anchovy fillets
  • 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
Zucchini salad
  • 2 small zucchini, shaved on a mandolin
  • 2 fennel, shaved on a mandolin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)


  • 1
    For salsa rossa, preheat oven to 220C. Roast capsicum on a tray until blistered (20-25 minutes). Set aside. When cool, peel, core and dice. Combine tomato, onion, garlic and basil in a roasting pan and set aside. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, sprinkle in sugar and cook until dark caramel (5-7 minutes), then add vinegar (be careful, hot caramel will spit). Add capsicum and cook until caramel dissolves (1-2 minutes). Pour evenly over tomato mixture, drizzle with oil and stand for 30 minutes for flavours to develop. Season to taste.
  • 2
    For tapenade, process ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  • 3
    Reduce oven to 190C. Scatter onion garlic, lemon, fennel fronds and thyme over an oven tray, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season. Combine butter, parsley, tarragon and basil in a bowl, season, then rub all over fish. Pull out the sides of the fish so it stands upright on the bed of aromatics and roast until fish is just cooked and meat easily pulls away from frame (35-45 minutes). Season and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.
  • 4
    For zucchini salad, combine ingredients, season, then serve with fish, salsa rossa and tapenade.


Drink Suggestion: An orange wine such as Ducks in a Row Pandora’s Amphora. Drink suggestion by James Broadway