• Snapper with preserved lemon relish and cauliflower salad (The Chefs' Line)Source: The Chefs' Line

Preserved lemons are a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, and is usually made by stuffing lemons with salt and letting it pickle for a month or more. To use, simply cut the pith and flesh away, and chop up the rind to use in your recipe. The Chefs' Line






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (16 votes)


  • 2 thick snapper fillets, about 250 g each, skin on  
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 3 small green zucchini

Preserved lemon relish

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 large red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon
  • ½ tsp salt flakes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Cauliflower salad 

  • 2 tbsp cooked pearl barley
  • ⅓ cauliflower, cut into small florets, blanched in hot water
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp toasted chopped walnuts
  • 4 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Cook's notes

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 190˚C.

For the preserved lemon relish, place the eggplant over a high flame on the stovetop and cook, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered all over. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the skin and place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until a smooth purée forms. Set aside.

For the cauliflower salad, combine the barley, cauliflower florets, pomegranate seeds, cranberries, nuts and herbs in a bowl. Season with the olive oil and pomegranate molasses.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Drizzle the snapper fillets with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt flakes. Place skin-side up and side by side on the baking tray.

Using a mandolin, thinly slice the zucchini into 1.5 mm-thick rounds. Place in a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil so they stick together more easily. Cover the fish fillets with the zucchini slices, overlapping each one to mimic fish scales. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until just cooked through. To check if the fish is ready a toothpick must go easily into it.

Serve the snapper drizzled with a little oil and seasoned with salt flakes, with a quenelle of preserved lemon relish and the cauliflower salad to the side.


This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood  and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!