The Washington Post

Slow-Roasted Snapper With Olive and Tomato Salad

Slow-Roasted Snapper With Olive and Tomato Salad 6.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Aug 9, 2018

Oven-roasting this beautiful slab of fish at a low temperature means it will take more time than the standard 10 minutes per inch thickness than you might be used to for cooking fish. But the snapper is guaranteed not to dry out in the process.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • One 2-pound firm white fish fillet, such as halibut, snapper or grouper, (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup green olives, preferably Castelvetrano, crushed and pitted
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, hulled, seeded and diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the fish in a shallow baking dish and coat it with 4 tablespoons of the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Scatter the olives, lemon slices, thyme and bay leaves around the fish. Bake (middle rack) for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the fish is very tender and slightly opaque. (Start checking it at 50 minutes; Its flesh should be moist and barely separate when the tines of a fork are inserted.)

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, tomatoes, garlic, shallot and sherry vinegar. Season lightly with salt and pepper and all the ground coriander. Let the mixture sit while the fish cooks; the salt will bring moisture out of the tomatoes and make the mix slightly soupy.

Once the fish is cooked, leave the fillet in the baking dish or use a spatula to carefully transfer the fish and olives to a platter. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.

Spoon the tomato mixture with the juices over the fish, then garnish with the basil. Serve hot.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South,” by Virginia Willis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018).

Tested by Miriam Albert.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using 1 teaspoon salt): 230

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 17g 26%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 20mg 7%

Sodium: 320mg 13%

Total Carbohydrates: 7g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 14g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle