Chefs' Recipes

Snapper, slow-braised beans, fennel and kataifi pies

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for snapper, slow-braised beans, fennel and kataifi pies recipe by Alpha restaurant in Sydney.

By Peter Conistis
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 40 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 4
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Snapper, slow-braised beans, fennel and kataifi pies
"This is a great show-off dinner-party dish that also looks sensational in a big baking dish or as individual kataifi-wrapped parcels," says Conistis.


  • 75 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500 gm green beans, trimmed, sliced diagonally into 3-4cm lengths
  • ½ large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 25 ml verjuice
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (firmly packed)
  • 4 skinless snapper fillets (about 180gm each)
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, scored
  • 50 gm salted capers, rinsed
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 200 gm kataifi pastry (see note)
  • 50 gm sesame seeds


  • 1
    Melt 50gm butter in a casserole over low heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender and light golden (25-30 minutes). Add beans, fennel, verjuice, sugar and 125ml water. Season to taste, cover with a lid and braise, stirring occasionally, until very tender (2½ hours). Add parsley, cook for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, blanch tomatoes (20-30 seconds), refresh, peel, quarter, remove seeds and set aside.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 160C. Divide bean mixture among four 14cm-diameter, 6cm-deep baking dishes. Top each with a snapper fillet, then tomato, capers and anchovies, and season to taste.
  • 4
    Pull apart kataifi and place in a bowl. Melt remaining butter and toss with kataifi and sesame seeds. Place a quarter of kataifi over each dish, pat down lightly to cover and bake until golden and cooked through (40 minutes). Serve hot.


Note Kataifi is available from Greek delicatessens
Drink Suggestion: 2010 Estate Argyros Oak-fermented Assyrtiko, Mantinia, Greece. Drink suggestion by Vanessa Chant