Red snapper takes on some bold Mediterranean flavors – garlic, fresh herbs, and a trio of warm spices – then roasted to tender perfection with bright bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Enjoy straight out of the oven for best flavor and texture, and serve with lemon rice, Greek potatoes, three bean salad, or Fattoush salad.
Pat the snapper fish dry. With a large knife, make two slits on each side of the fish. Fill the slits and coat the gut cavity of each fish with the minced garlic.
To make the spice mix, combine the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and sumac in a small bowl. Use ¾ of the spice mix to season the snapper on both sides; pat the spices into the fish pushing into the slits you made earlier. Keep the remainder ¼ of the spice mix aside for now.
Stuff each gut cavity with the chopped dill, and as much of the sliced peppers, tomatoes and onions as possible.
Place the stuffed fish in a lightly oiled baking sheet. Add the remaining sliced vegetables to form a frame around the fish. Sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch of salt and the remaining ¼ of the spice mix.
Drizzle everything generously with olive oil.
Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of your 425 degrees F heated oven. Roast for 25 minutes until the fish flakes.Transfer the fish to a serving platter and squeeze juice of one lemon all over it. Use the slits you made earlier to cut through and portion the fish. Serve it with wedges of the remaining lemon.
To make things easy, ask your fishmonger to clean the fish and butterfly it so it's ready for use. You can choose to have the head removed, if you prefer. But I recommend leaving the head on, as it helps the fish retain moisture and yields better flavor.
Make ahead tip: Whole red snapper is best prepared and roasted right when you are ready to eat it. But to save a bit of time, you can slice the vegetables a night ahead and store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
Leftovers and storage: This snapper dinner is best enjoyed immediately. If you have leftovers, store in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Enjoy at room temperature, but if you must, you can reheat in a 350 degrees F heated oven just until warmed through. I am not a big fan of reheating fish because it tends to get too dry but adding a little water to your pan and covering the fish would help.