- 20 (1/4-inch thick) slices Roma tomatoes (recommended: Romanita tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup chiffonade fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish, if desired
- 1/2 cup julienned sweet onions
- 1/4 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 4 (4 to 6-ounce) skin-on red snapper fillets
- 12 thin slices lemon, seeds removed
- 1/4 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Rice Pilaf, for serving
- Tomato Water, optional
- Chiffonade fresh basil, for garnish
- Rice Pilaf:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth, or chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, optional
- Tomato Water:
- 1 large heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
- Few sprigs fresh parsley
- Few sprigs fresh basil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the tomatoes, basil, onions, and olives in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Season both sides of the fillets with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and Essence. Arrange the fish on the baking sheet, followed by the tomato mixture and then the lemon slices. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each fillet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the snapper is cooked through. To serve, place a portion of Rice Pilaf on an entree plate. Use a spatula to remove the fish, along with the tomatoes, onions and lemons from the baking sheet and place over the Rice Pilaf. Drizzle with tomato water, if desired, and garnish each fillet with a chiffonade of fresh basil.
- Rice Pilaf: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a large ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque and nutty in aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and salt, stir well, and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the rice from the oven and let stand, undisturbed, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the green onions, if desired. Serve hot.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Tomato Water: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add just enough olive oil for flavor and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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