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  • Writer's picturerodica godlewski

blood orange marinated red snapper, with basil pesto

After a perfect day spent in Rochester Village with my mother-in-law and my son, I ran into Whole Foods fast and grabbed a red snapper, fresh basil and some blood oranges. The snapper was quite pricey, but it looked so fresh and appetizing I couldn't resist buying it. Once I got home I placed a few garlic cloves and blood orange slices inside it, I drizzled it with olive oil and blood orange juice, seasoned it with salt, pepper and fresh basil, and then placed it in the fridge to marinate overnight.

It came out so flaky and flavorful. We enjoyed it with basil pesto and baked garlic. I shared a few pieces with the cats as well and they devoured it in a heartbeat.


for the fish:

  • 2 1/2 pounds red snapper, cleaned and scales removed

  • 7 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 2 blood oranges, sliced

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 cup basil leaves

  • the juice from half a blood orange

  • 1/4 cup garlic & herbs olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Italian dried herbs

  • string to tie the fish

to serve:

  • 3 whole garlic heads

  • pinch of sea salt

  • pinch of peper

  • 1 tablespoon garlic & herbs olive oil

for the pesto:

  • 1 cup basil leaves

  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan

  • 1/4 cup walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon white wine


  1. Setup a sheet baking pan with parchment paper and arrange the fish on top.

  2. Place the garlic cloves and orange slices inside of the fish (reserve three slices for the top).

  3. Season the inside of the fish with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

  4. Place the fresh basil leaves and the blood orange slices on top of the fish, drizzle with the blood orange juice and the olive oil, season with the remaining salt and pepper and sprinkle the Italian dried herbs. Tie the fish and refrigerate overnight.

  5. At the same time prepare the garlic heads. Slice the tops off so the garlic cloves are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Refrigerate with the fish.

  6. Next day preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cover the fish (I used another piece of parchment paper) and bake for 50 minutes. Raise the temperature to 500 degrees F, uncover the fish and bake some more until the oven reaches 500 degrees, then turn the oven off.

  7. Meanwhile make the pesto by placing all the ingredients in a food processor. Refrigerate until the fish is done.

  8. Serve with the basil pesto and the baked garlic.

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