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Pan Fried Snapper (with Salsa Verde, Caponata and Asparagus) Recipe

Snapper is a beautiful and versatile fish that can be cooked in so many different ways. The steaks can be used for traditional style curries or fried preparations, the whole fish for grilling or the fillets can be used in so many interesting contemporary dishes like we have today.

In this recipe, fresh snapper fillets are pan fried and paired with a vibrant parsley pesto, grilled asparagus and a very earthy and warm caponata. A beautiful dish that works well as a midweek dinner or for special occasions.

Pan Fried Snapper (with Salsa Verde, Caponata and Asparagus)
Pan Fried Snapper (with Salsa Verde, Caponata and Asparagus)



  1. 3 large snapper fillets; deboned and cut into large steaks
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Freshly milled black pepper; to season
  4. ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  5. Olive oil, to shallow fry the fish

Salsa Verde:

  1. 1cup (packed) parsley
  2. 1 cup (packed) basil
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. ¼ cup pickled capers
  5. 1 tsp seeded mustard
  6. 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  7. Salt, to season
  8. Olive oil


  1. 1 medium red capsicum; deseeded and finely diced
  2. 1 medium yellow capsicum; deseeded and finely diced
  3. 1 medium zucchini; finely diced
  4. 1 medium eggplant; finely diced
  5. ½ red onion; finely diced
  6. 1 garlic clove; finely diced
  7. ½ bunch parsley
  8. ¼ cup pine nuts; toasted lightly
  9. 1 tbsp dried currants
  10. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  11. Juice of 1 lemon
  12. A pinch of sugar
  13. Salt; to season
  14. 1 tbsp parsley leaves; finely chopped


  1. 12 green asparagus
  2. 1 large garlic clove; sliced finely
  3. ½ tsp chilli flakes
  4. 1 tbsp butter
  5. Salt, to season


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan and stir fry the bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini over high heat in batches. It’s really important for the heat to be high to ensure that the veggies do not go too soggy and retain its colour and texture
  • Remove and place in a colander to remove excess moisture if any.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic till softened and return all the vegetables to the pan. Add the toasted pine nuts and dried currants, mix well and remove from heat.
  • Season with salt, sugar and lemon juice to taste.
  • Add the parsley leaves and mix through. Keep aside.

Salsa Verde:

  • Blend all the ingredients listed in a food processor till smooth. Keep aside.


Marinate the snapper fillets with chilli, salt and pepper; leave for at least 15 minutes. Pan fry in batches just before serving. (Remember to fry skin side first to ensure crispy and evenly cooked skin).


  1. Trim the thick ends of the asparagus (an inch from bottom) and peel the skin off at the lower end of the asparagus.
  2. Blanch the asparagus and keep aside.
  3. Add butter to a pan and add the garlic cloves; cook on low heat till the garlic takes on a light brown colour, then add the chilli flakes.
  4. Immediately add the asparagus, season with salt and stir fry on high heat for about 15 seconds.

To serve:

Spread 2 tbsp salsa verde on the plate and place 1-2 snapper steaks on top. Place a few of the grilled asparagus to one side and the caponata to the other side. Serve warm.

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