Whole Roasted Snapper Recipe with Anchovy Butter and Fresh Herbs. An italian seaside favorite baked fish offering sensational flavor and visual appeal.
It has been magical, completely magical.
We are starting an Italy travel series in the next couple weeks and will share our photos, stories, and travel tips on Tuesdays. #TravelTuesdays we’ll call them.
But for today, I want to share a recipe that became an instant favorite while we were in Liguria, along the Italian Riviera. A whole roasted snapper recipe with anchovy butter and herbs.
Some people are afraid of cooking and eating baked fish with the head attached.
I figure, if you are going to participate in the food chain and eat another living creature, you owe it the respect of looking it straight in the eye, before enjoying its bounty. *wink*
And so it is with this whole roasted snapper recipe.
Many of the fish we experienced in Italy are hard to find here in the states. So I purchased the best looking, freshest, yellowtail snapper I could find. It’s a good substitute for several Italian white fish.
Roasting a whole fish has several benefits over cooking individual fish fillets.
One, leaving the bones, head, and skin intact, means the baked fish retains a lot of it natural flavor while cooking.
Whole fish is also harder to over-cook than small fish fillets.
Plus you can stuff the interior with all sorts of lovely natural flavor enhancers to create a snapper recipe to remember.
Here I made a quick anchovy butter, and rubbed it on the skin and inside the cavity of the fish. Then I filled the cavity with fresh-cut mint and dill from my garden, and sprinkled the whole fish with flake salt and fresh ground pepper.
The salty richness of the anchovy butter, combined with the intense freshness of the herbs, makes the whole fish burst with flavor… reminiscent of an open-air seaside meal in Italy.
Follow along on our Instagram Feed to see what we’re doing our last few days in Italy.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20
Whole Roasted Snapper with Anchovy Butter and Herbs.
- 2 pounds whole Yellowtail Snapper, cleaned and scaled (your fishmonger will do this for you)
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, divided
- 4 sprigs fresh dill, divided
- Salt and pepper (I used flake sea salt)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the whole snapper on the baking sheet, then score the skin with several shallow cuts on both sides. Stuff 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill and 2-3 sprigs mint into the cavity of the fish.
- Mix the butter, anchovy paste, and garlic together. Rub it over the fish on all sides. Then stuff the remaining butter in the cavity. Liberally sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the interior is opaque. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon chopped dill, 1 tablespoon chopped mint, and the lemon zest together. Sprinkle over the top of the fish and serve warm!
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!