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Curtis Stone's Pan-Fried Snapper with Fennel and Salsa Verde

Curtis Stone's Pan-Fried Snapper with Fennel and Salsa Verde
Quentin Bacon

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it's so fresh and easy! I can prep my ingredients ahead of time and just put everything together in a matter of minutes right before serving. It's also a great way to use up the fresh herbs and produce I grow in my garden. Even my kids love this dish, so it's a real family-favorite.


Salsa Verde
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, drained nonpareil capers
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetables and Fish
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 small bulbs fennel (about 1-pound total), trimmed and cut from tip to core into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 small lemons, cut in half crosswise
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets, with skin


For the salsa verde:

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, scallions, basil, parsley, rosemary, capers, shallots and lemon zest together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature.

For the vegetables and fish:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then lay half of the fennel and onion slices in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until tender and golden-brown (don't worry if the slices fall apart). Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil and the remaining fennel and onions. This time, place the lemon halves cut side down in the skillet alongside the vegetables and cook for about 1 minute, or until they begin to brown on the cut sides. Remove the lemons from the skillet and squeeze 1/4 cup of juice from about 4 of the lemon halves. Stir the juice into the salsa verde. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve the remaining lemons for serving.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin side of each fillet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then lay the snapper fillets skin-side down in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the skin is golden-brown and crisp. Turn the fish over and cook for about 1 minute more, or until the fish is barely opaque when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small knife.

To serve:

Divide the fennel mixture evenly among four dinner plates and place the fish alongside. Drizzle with the salsa verde and serve with the reserved caramelized lemons.