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Roasted Whole Snapper

Roasting is an excellent low-fat cooking technique because very little fat is necessary to carry the flavor of the food. High heat concentrates and seals in food's natural flavor, two jobs that only a few other techniques can do without the help of butter, oil, or other fatty transporters of flavor. A hot oven and a good heavy-bottomed roasting pan or skillet are essential. Before serving, set the snapper on a bed of small white onions, and add the dill and parsley too.

  • Servings: 4


  • 1 fennel bulb, with fronds attached
  • 4 small white onions, peeled
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup good-quality white wine
  • 1 whole snapper (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. In a heavy roasting pan or large cast-iron skillet, toss together the fennel, onions, 5 lemon quarters, and the wine. Rub the snapper all over with olive oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the herbs and the remaining lemons.

  3. Roast about 30 minutes (15 minutes for each inch of thickness), until the flesh just begins to flake.

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