Red snapper with oregano, olives and tahini is a lovely way to serve red snapper. It is a taste of sunshine on a plate, a perfect Summer recipe
Part of the joy of travelling is experiencing new things. You stumble out of a plane, jet-lagged and weary to be greeting with the smells and sounds of a different culture.
The warmth of the sunshine, the perfume of flowers hanging in the air, the bustle of a local market with the musical background of a different language.The rhythm of a new city takes some getting used to, some are busy and bustling, some are laid back and stately, all different.
One of the other pleasures of travelling is to try the local cuisine, whether bought from a street vendor, eaten in a local restaurant or picking out food at the local market to cook in self catering accommodation. Local food is an adventure, you never know what you might experience next.
Some of the dishes I have tried on holiday have become firm favourites that I like to make at home. Mushrooms a la grecque is one of these recipes, bought at local delicatessens when on holiday in France. The dish formed part of an easily made salad with crusty baguettes and sun ripened tomatoes served with a little wine. I loved these mushrooms and could have eaten them by the bucket load.
Sometimes local eating can be more disastrous. When eating in a local French restaurant we ordered what we thought was veal. A large steaming casserole arrived and when we opened the lid we found brains inside. It was a challenge explaining in our limited French that we had not understood the menu and it was not what we had expected.
Recently James Villas Holidays got in touch to tell me about a series of recipes that were inspired by key UK tourist holiday destinations they have been featuring on their website. The recipes have been created by Jo Pratt and the recipes come from Cypus, Italy, Greece and Spain among others.
They challenged me to try and recreate one of these recipes on my blog. The recipe I was given was for whole baked snapper with oregano, olives and tahini.. The recipe was influenced by the Greek island of Rhodes which looks like an idyllic place to visit. I love a challenge so was happy to give the recipe a try.
The first challenge I had was finding a whole red snapper. It was suggested I should go to North Shields Fish Quay in order to find them but luckily I noticed that Iceland was selling frozen red snapper fillets.
I modified the recipe a little bit in order to use the frozen fillets, instead of adding the olive mixture to slits in the side of the snapper and lemon slices into the body cavity I had to place them on the top. I don’t think it altered the flavour much and the end result was delicious.
Whilst I have never been to Greece I would love to go. It always makes me think of the film Shirley Valentine and I think the pace of life would be much slower and more restful.
The dish made me think of sunny Mediterranean skies and blue seas. It also brought back memories of holidays in California where I first tried the fish. We encountered giant redwoods, looking up into the trees and wondering why they were so large. Watched elephant seals lying on the beaches and sea otters play near Carmel and ate in restaurants overlooking the shore. I would love to go back one day.
The recipe achieved its aim of making me think I was on holiday and would be an ideal dinner to impress guests. The addition of green salad and crusty bread worked well with the fish and new potatoes would also be lovely.
If you are looking for other fish dishes why not try Mediterranean fish stew which is really quick and tasty.
For a nice starter these tomato and thyme fish zakouski are tasty and unusual.
I was sent the ingredients in order to recreate the dish.