Walnut Crusted Snapper Fillets & Lunch in the Garden with Flore

I love how food has the capacity to bring people together. We recently connected with the marvellous Flore over a morning of cooking and a subsequent lunch date. Having never met before I decided that we should cook together and share food stories in the kitchen and at the table. It was such a brilliant day, I couldn’t resist sharing it with you and hopefully inspiring you to initiate meetings like this.
 
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Flore and I initially connected on Instagram through a shared passion for food, foraging and a general excitement for learning new things. When I suggested we have a cook up and both bring along a dish to teach each other, she was totally gung-ho (my kind of lady). From the moment we met it was clear I was going to love her. Flore is so passionate about cooking, photography and, one of my other true loves, textiles. We instantly found so much to discuss and share.
 
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The exchange of knowledge and the shared enjoyment of eating is what I love so much about cooking. I love that food can transport you to different parts of the world and allow you to connect with people from different cultures.
 
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Our lunch menu consisted of a beautiful salmon tartare with freshly picked herbs from Flore’s garden. Signore Pot taught us how to make a wonderful walnut crusted snapper with tahini dressing. He also whipped up an incredible roasted carrot salad and I chopped up a Turkish spoon salad to accompany it all.
 
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This snapper recipe is adapted from one of our favourite kitchen cookbooks “Falafel for Breakfast” which has so many incredible dishes that can be shared over long lunches with great friends.
 
Walnut crusted Snapper Fillets
Serves 2-4
 
• 4 baby red snapper fillets, matching pairs with skin on
• 80g walnuts
• 20g pistachios
• 1 long green chilli (seeds optional), finely chopped
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 large handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
• Sea salt
• 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 wedges of lemon
 
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Pin-bone the snapper fillets, if not done already by the fishmonger.
Click here for a good guide on how to remove the bones yourself.
 
For the Snapper Crust
Place walnuts and pistachios in a food processor and blitz until broken up and pieces are no bigger than the size of a pea
Place 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a wide based pan on low to medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the chilli to the pan and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the nuts and cook until lightly toasted.
Add the spices and continue stirring, ensuring the mixture does not catch and burn. You want a little bit of black forming but it’s a fine line between burnt nuts and deliciously toasted, so keep a watchful eye on them.
Remove the walnut mixture from the pan and transfer to a bowl.
Add the parsley, 2 Tbsp olive oil and salt to taste
Cool to room temperature before using on the snapper.
 
Assembling the Snapper
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Pour ½ Tbsp olive oil diagonally across the paper.
Place one fillet along the line of oil with skin side down. Sprinkle a little salt on the fleshy side. Place the matching snapper fillet (skin side up) on top of the fillet you previously salted.
Pour ½ Tbsp olive oil on top of the skin of the fillet.
Take half the mixture of snapper crust and place on top of the skin.
Gently press down on the crust to ensure it stays on the fish.
Repeat the same process for the second portion of snapper
Cook in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
To test if the fish is completely cooked, take a thin knife and pierce the fish gently from the top (through the crust). If the knife goes straight through with ease, it is cooked. If there is any resistance, it needs more time.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and serve with a slice of lemon and some tahini.
 
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Flore shared a really lovely chocolate dessert with us. If you only ever learn how to make one dessert, this should be the one. These molten chocolate cakes are so easy to prepare and look so impressive when the spoon goes in and the centre oozes out like magic. The batter is quick and easy to make and can be made ahead of time. The cakes can be frozen and baked out when you like. It’s really a fabulous recipe for any repertoire.
 
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I feel so lucky to have met Flore and her beautiful family since. I think opening up your home in the good old fashioned way can bring in so much warmth and energy. Living in a big city can often lead to a disconnect between people and their neighbours but I think the simple act of breaking bread together just makes sense. Share your passions with those around you and good things will follow.
 
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xxBlighStBistro

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