In this delicious recipe a whole snapper is propped up on its belly on the tray, brushed with a mixture of oil and herbs and baked. In Italy a coin is traditionally popped into the mouth of the fish to thank God.
- 2 kg snapper, cleaned and scaled
- salt and pepper
- 100 ml olive oil
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- pinch of dried oregano
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Score the skin of the snapper in a crisscross pattern and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing into the skin and cavity.
Scrunch up some baking paper and insert it into the cavity. This should allow you to stand the snapper on its belly on a tray. Mix the oil with the chilli and herbs and brush the snapper with three-quarters of this mixture. Bake the snapper for 30–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and brush with the remaining oil before serving.