Baked Snapper with Lentils & Capsicum

This was a delicious light dinner. It was a baking hot day in Sydney and I really didn’t feel like something heavy. Although I used lentils, which can be quite wintery, it turned out to be filling but not too heavy at all. Be sure not to add salt to the lentils until the end as it prolongs their cooking time and can actually make them IMPOSSIBLE to soften. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way after almost 2 hours of simmering with the results still like little pellets of rock.


4 red snapper fillets (or any other white fish fillets)
1 lemon (1 teaspoon of grated zest, the rest sliced)
1 tomato
4 tablespoons fresh dill
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 red capsicum
1/2 cup puy lentils
1/2 cup spring onions (chopped)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
salt & pepper
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1/2 cup white wine
500ml vegetable stock
extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Cut the capsicum in half and remove the stem and seeds. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes until soft. Remove and when cool, peel off the skin and cut into long slices.

Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over a moderate heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the spring onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest, cumin and coriander. Pour in the wine and sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stir well then pour over the stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 50 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Stir regularly and add a little water if it runs too dry. They may take longer to cook depending on their size. The liquid should have fully reduced at the end. Remove from the heat then stir in 2 tablespoons of dill and season well with salt & pepper.

While the lentils are cooking, in an ovenproof dish arrange some of the lemon slices in a single layer on the bottom. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of dill then place the fish fillets (skin up) in a layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the fish is cooked.

Serve 2 fillets of fish on a bed of warm lentils with some of the tomato slices, and red capsicum. Sprinkle with more spring onions, a spoonful of the fish cooking juices and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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