Red Snapper With Thyme and Sumac


3 lbs Red Snapper or other fresh fish, filleted
2 lemons, thickly sliced
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic head, crushed
juice from two lemons
7 tsp Ground Thyme
2 tsp dried Cilantro (or 1 Tbsp fresh, roughly chopped)
7 tsp Ground Sumac
5 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp salt (or to taste)


Rinse the fish with water and pat dry before placing on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub fillets with a little salt and ~2 tsp ground thyme. Slip lemon slices under the fish, and bake for 20 min at 350F.

Meanwhile, remove stem and seeds from green and red bell peppers and dice into small cubes. In a small bowl, combine crushed garlic, lemon juice, another 5 tsp of ground thyme, cilantro, sumac, olive oil and a little salt. Whisk together to make a thick reddish paste, then stir together with the chopped bell peppers.

When fish is finished baking, remove from the oven. Allow to cool for several minutes, then, while it is still warm, carefully remove its bones and scales (if this has not been done already before baking). Flake the fish “meat” and transfer back to rimmed baking sheet. Gently spread the garlic-sumac spice paste over the fish to cover.

Return baking sheet to oven and bake for another 10 min. The spice paste will “melt” into the fish.

Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer fish to a serving dish. Serve hot, or can be made ahead and served cold with Fattoush (flatbread with greens), or with a salad dish.