Pan-fried Fish with Vegetables and Salsa


5 tablespoons olive oil
3 small fennel bulbs (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
4 red snapper fillets with skin, 6-ounce each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salsa Verde

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion (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
finely grated zest of 1 lemon


  1. To make the salsa verde, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then lay half of the fennel and onion in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until tender and golden brown. 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 in the skillet alongside the vegetables and cook for about 1 minute, or until they begin to brown on the cut sides.
  3. 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.
  4. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin side of each fillet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper.
  5. 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.
  6. Turn the fish over and cook for 1 minute more, or until the fish is barely opaque when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small knife.
  7. 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.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Curtis Stone What’s for Dinner?