Mediterranean Grilled Snapper

Mediterranean Grilled Snapper

Mediterranean Grilled Snapper


Makes 6 servings


1 whole red snapper (about 4-1/2 pounds), scaled, gutted and cavity cut open*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
4 slices lemon
3 whole heads garlic**
Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)
6 slices Italian bread, cut 1 inch thick
Additional olive oil (optional)

*This can be done by your fish retailer at the time of purchase or you may wish to do this yourself.

**The whole garlic bulb is called a head.


  1. Prepare grill for direct cooking. Rinse snapper under cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Open cavity of snapper; brush with lemon juice. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, chopped oregano and basil in small bowl. Using small spatula, spread mixture inside cavity of snapper. Place lemon slices in cavity; close snapper. Secure opening by threading 6-inch metal skewer lengthwise through outside edge of cavity.
  2. Cut off top third of garlic heads to expose cloves; discard. Place each head on small sheet of heavy-duty foil; drizzle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Wrap in foil. Place packets directly on medium-hot coals.
  3. Place snapper in oiled, hinged fish basket or directly on oiled grid. Grill snapper and garlic, on uncovered grill, over medium-hot coals 20 to 25 minutes or until snapper flakes easily when tested with fork, turning halfway through grilling time.
  4. Soak oregano sprigs in water. Place oregano sprigs directly on coals during last 10 minutes of grilling.
  5. Brush bread lightly with additional oil. During last 5 minutes of grilling, place bread around outer edges of grid to toast, about 4 minutes, turning once.
  6. Transfer snapper to carving board. Carefully unwrap garlic. Peel off any charred papery outer skin. Using pot holder, squeeze softened garlic from heads into small bowl; mash to a paste with wooden spoon or potato masher, adding additional oil. Spread bread lightly with garlic paste.
  7. Remove skewer from snapper. Slit skin from head to tail along back and belly of snapper; pull skin from top side of snapper with fingers. Discard skin. Using utility knife, separate top fillet from backbone; cut into serving-size pieces. Lift up tail; pull forward to free backbone from lower fillet. Cut lower fillet into serving-size pieces. Remove skin, if desired.


A whole red snapper may not fit in hinged fish basket. If desired, remove head and tail from snapper.

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