Introduction: Seafood has been a staple in culinary history for centuries, celebrated for its exquisite flavors and versatility. In this article, we’re going to explore a delightful recipe that marries the delicate taste of snapper with the zesty brightness of lemon and the aromatic charm of fresh herbs. Lemon Herb Baked Snapper Fillets is a dish that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also brings a sense of coastal sophistication to your table.
Historical Context: The tradition of baking fish with citrus and herbs dates back centuries, with historical roots in Mediterranean and coastal cuisine. The practice of using lemon and herbs to complement the natural flavors of fish was born out of necessity and later refined into an art. Lemons were readily available and acted as a preservative for seafood, while herbs added depth and fragrance to an otherwise simple dish. Over time, this culinary practice has evolved into a cherished culinary tradition around the world.
1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and position the rack in the middle.
2. Prepare the Lemon Herb Marinade: In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, dill, and thyme. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. This fragrant marinade will infuse your snapper fillets with an irresistible aroma and flavor.
3. Season the Snapper: Lay the snapper fillets in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle both sides of each fillet with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the Lemon Slices: Place the thinly sliced lemons on top of the snapper fillets. The lemon slices will release their citrusy goodness during baking, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
5. Pour the Marinade: Drizzle the prepared lemon herb marinade evenly over the snapper fillets and lemon slices. Make sure the fillets are well-coated for maximum flavor infusion.
6. Cover with Foil: To lock in moisture and prevent the fish from drying out, cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Ensure it’s sealed around the edges.
7. Bake to Perfection: Place the covered baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the snapper fillets easily flake with a fork. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the fillets, so keep an eye on them.
8. Serve with Pan Juices: Carefully remove the foil, and serve the Lemon Herb Baked Snapper Fillets immediately, drizzling some of the pan juices over each portion. The snapper should be tender and infused with the vibrant flavors of lemon and herbs.
9. Garnish and Enjoy: For a final touch, garnish your dish with a sprig of fresh thyme or a lemon wedge. The visual appeal will match the delightful flavors.