This impressive dinner is actually very simple to prepare. If you don't like the idea of whole fish you could use a large fish fillet - it will take even less time to cook (just blanch the potatoes first). Alternatively, you could cook one large snapper on the barbecue, wrapped in foil with tomato, lemon, garlic and herbs.
2 whole snapper (500-600g each)
400g chat potatoes, halved
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced into rounds
2 medium lemons, sliced into rounds
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 bunch rosemary sprigs
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
1/2 bunch sage leaves
4 or 5 bay leaves
extra virgin olive oil
PREHEAT OVEN to 220°C.
LIGHTLY SCORE the skin of the fish; don't cut too deep into the flesh.
ARRANGE FISH and potatoes over two large baking trays. Season fish cavities with salt and pepper to taste, then fill with the tomatoes, half the lemon slices, and a little each of the garlic, rosemary, thyme and sage leaves. Scatter bay leaves and the remaining lemon slices, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sage over the fish and potatoes. Drizzle with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
ROAST FISH until the skin is crisp and the flesh is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. The potatoes should be crispy-brown and cooked through. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
TIP: To see if a whole fish is "done", check the neck: the flesh should come away easily from the bones. Be careful not to overcook it.
Photography William Meppem; Jennifer Soo Styling Hannah Meppem Food preparation Nick Banbury