Thyme-Tested American Red Snapper with Pico De Gallo

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Most of you are familiar with the standard staple spices in most American cabinets - garlic, pepper and salt. Too often, these are the only spices used to season fish. It's time to spice things up a bit! 

I'm taking you to the Middle East today with this Arabic-inspired fish dish by using my favorite warm spice - Za'atar seasoning. If you'd like to make your own Za'atar seasoning, you can find our Fishmonger Approved Za'atar recipe online.

The traditional star of this spice is hyssop, although thyme is commonly used in its place. The word za’atar (pronounced “zah-tahr”) literally translates to mean “wild thyme” in Arabic.  But it’s more known as a seasoning blend, whose ingredients vary slightly from country to country across the Middle East. We prefer a warmer version of this spice, adding a touch of cinnamon, anise and fennel. 

For the classic, pre-made version of Za'atar, you can either purchase this seasoning in select grocery stores, as McCormick makes a classic version of Za'atar Seasoning, or online via sites like Amazon. If you're going with a thyme based variety, this one is a perfect option.

The Lebanese variety sticks with tradition and uses Hyssop instead of thyme. It's up to you which version you use. All will pair perfectly with the snapper.

Before you get cooking, make sure you have the other ingredients on hand that aren't always readily accessible in that American pantry, like Nigella Seeds. Although optional to the recipe, Nigella is another word for black cumin.

Not only are these magical Micelle Eastern black seeds a fiber-filled antioxidant, but they have an aroma comparable to oregano with a slightly spicy and nutty flavour, making them a perfect nutritional addition to your favorite recipes.

This American Red Snapper dish is sure to please all palpates. With a touch of Middle Eastern flavor, and a garnish of a classic pico de Gallo, this will be a favorite seafood dish for years to come.

Yields6 Servings

Snapper Ingredients
 2 lbs American Red Snapper Fillet
 ½ tsp Salt
 2 tbsp Oil (olive or Grapeseed)
 2 tsp Za'atar Seasoning
Pico De Gallo Ingredients
 2 Ripe Red Tomatoes, diced
 ½ Medium Red Onion, diced
 2 Stalk Celery, diced (tops and end removed)
 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
 2 tbsp Olive Oil
 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
 1 tsp Salt
 ½ tsp Ground Pepper
 ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
 ½ Ground Cumin
 ½ tsp Nigella Seeds

Snapper
1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2

Sprinkle salt onto snapper fillet.

3

Rub oil onto entire snapper fillet.

4

Sprinkle Za'atar seasoning onto snapper fillet.

5

Bake fish in oven for 20 minutes until flaky white.

Pico DeGallo
6

Meanwhile, mix together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, and nigella seeds.

7

Gently mix in tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, celery and cilantro

8

Serve Pico de Gallo next to or on top of snapper fillet.

Ingredients

Snapper Ingredients
 2 lbs American Red Snapper Fillet
 ½ tsp Salt
 2 tbsp Oil (olive or Grapeseed)
 2 tsp Za'atar Seasoning
Pico De Gallo Ingredients
 2 Ripe Red Tomatoes, diced
 ½ Medium Red Onion, diced
 2 Stalk Celery, diced (tops and end removed)
 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
 2 tbsp Olive Oil
 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
 1 tsp Salt
 ½ tsp Ground Pepper
 ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
 ½ Ground Cumin
 ½ tsp Nigella Seeds

Directions

Snapper
1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2

Sprinkle salt onto snapper fillet.

3

Rub oil onto entire snapper fillet.

4

Sprinkle Za'atar seasoning onto snapper fillet.

5

Bake fish in oven for 20 minutes until flaky white.

Pico DeGallo
6

Meanwhile, mix together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, and nigella seeds.

7

Gently mix in tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, celery and cilantro

8

Serve Pico de Gallo next to or on top of snapper fillet.

Thyme-Tested American Red Snapper with Pico De Gallo

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