Whole Roasted Snapper With Red Pepper Tapenade Recipe

Makes cooking whole fish look easy

Luke Bergman may be the first American chef to ever win the coveted Trophée Passion, a prestigious cooking competition that relies on speed, skill and a working knowledge of classical French food.

But when it comes to everyday food, the chef de cuisine at Colicchio & Sons in New York City prefers simpler, lighter dishes, swapping olive oil for butter and using fresh herbs and citrus zest. His impressive-looking yet easy-to-execute whole roasted snapper cooks in only 15 minutes and is a great entry point for cooks who haven't cooked a whole fish before.

Recipe adapted from Luke Bergman, Colicchio & Sons, New York City

Whole Roasted Snapper With Red Pepper Tapenade
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Sous Chef Series | Luke Bergman
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 15 minutes
  • Roasted red peppers, ½ cup (finely chopped)
  • Fennel fronds or chervil, 2 finely chopped tablespoons
  • Castelvetrano olives, 5 (pitted and finely chopped)
  • Limes, 1 (zested, rind sliced off and discarded, fruit divided into segments and then chopped)
  • Flat-leaf parsley, 1 finely chopped teaspoon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, 6 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt
  • Whole red snapper, one 2-pound fish, (scaled and gutted; not filleted) rinsed and patted dry
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the: Chopped roasted peppers Chopped fennel fronds Chopped olives Chopped lime and zest Chopped parsley 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Taste and season with: Kosher salt 2. On a cutting board, set the: Red snapper Use a chef's knife to make 3 or 4 (depending on how long the fish is) diagonal slashes along each side of the fish. Season both sides with: Kosher salt 3. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the broiler to high. Heat a grill pan over high heat until it starts to smoke, about 2 minutes. Add the: Remaining 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Set the snapper in the pan and immediately transfer the grill pan to the broiler. Broil the snapper until it is firm to the touch and the flesh is opaque all the way to the bone, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a fish spatula to transfer the fish to a platter. Spoon the tapenade over the top and serve.
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