Walnut crusted whole snapper

Walnut crusted whole snapper

Elisa Watson

A classic Lebanese mixture of walnuts, onion, coriander and chilli forms the crust on this whole-baked snapper. Alternatively you could use this crust on fish fillets – just sear the fillets until almost cooked, coat with the mixture and finish off in the oven. The green harissa labne needs to be left to drain overnight.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg whole snapper, cleaned and gutted, (ask your fishmonger to do this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
60ml olive oil
3 lemons, 2 thickly sliced, 1 cut into wedges
1 fennel bulb, thickly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 lemons, juice only

Walnut crust

Quantity Ingredient
150g walnut halves
3 bunches coriander, leaves only
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 jalapeño chilli, seeded
1 red onion, finely chopped
60ml olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 ground cardomon

Green harissa labne

Quantity Ingredient
500g sheep's milk yoghurt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Green harissa oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Celeriac, parsley and dill salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 celeriac, peeled and julienned
40g flat-leaf (italian) parsley, roughly chopped
60g dill
2 pomegranites, seeds only, (optional)
2 limes, juice and zest
3 teaspoons honey
120ml olive oil
sea salt, to taste


  1. To make the green harissa labne, combine all the ingredients in a fine-meshed sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth). Set the sieve over a bowl or container, tie the muslin over the yoghurt and leave to drain overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Place the snapper on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Rub the fish all over with the salt and 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. Open the cavity and fill with the sliced lemons, fennel slices and fennel seeds. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. While the fish is cooking, prepare the walnut crust. Put the walnut halves, coriander, garlic, jalapeño and onion in a food processor and pulse, in two-second bursts, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  6. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the walnut crumbs, salt and ground spices, and sauté for approximately 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the snapper from the oven. Cover the fish with the walnut crumbs, leaving the head and tail exposed. Pour over the lemon juice.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 175°C and return the fish to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  9. To make the celeriac, parsley and dill salad, combine the celeriac, parsley, dill and pomegranate seeds, if using, in a mixing bowl. Season with salt to taste.
  10. Whisk together the lime zest and juice, honey and oil in a small bowl, then season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated.
  11. Serve the fish whole with the celeriac, parsley and dill salad and green harissa labne on the side.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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