Ben Bayly's Roasted fillet of Hauraki snapper with capers and pistachio smoked baba ganoush

Aubergines really produce a unique flavor when they have been blackened and burned over a barbecue flame or under a grill. The flesh melts and develops a rich smoky flavor. Rather than smoking fish, which I think robs it of its best taste and texture, combining it – as we do here – with a pungent smoky vegetable creates a dish that allows the best of these two main ingredients to shine.


Snapper indgredients
•    1 fillet of snapper
•    10g capers
•    10g pistachios chopped
•    10mls olive oil
•    15g butter
•    1 sprig thyme
•    Salt and pepper
•    Wedge of lemon
•    Parsley chopped

Smoked Baba Ganoush Ingredients
•    1 large Aubergine
•    1 banana shallot
•    Pinch of cumin and fennel seeds (ground)
•    1 clove of garlic
•    30mls olive oil
•    50g cooked chickpeas
•    1 table spoon of tahini
•    20g chopped parsley
•    20g chopped chives
•    Juice & zest of one lemon
•    2 tomatoes


Snapper method
1.    Pre heat the oven to 180c
2.    Skin the snapper fillet using a sharp knife and portion into roughly 120g pieces.
3.    Heat a heavy based non-stick pan until hot, add the oil.
4.    Season the snapper with salt and pepper, place bone side down into the non-stick pan, place in the oven for 4 minutes, do not turn the fish over.
5.    Remove the fish from the oven and place back onto the stove, add the capers, butter and pistachios into the pan for 1 more minute, baste the fish with a spoon and squeeze the lemon into the pan.
6.    Check the fish is cooked. Then serve, placing the toasted capers and pistachios on top of the fish.

Smoked Baba Ghanoush method
1.    Roast the  aubergine over the gas flame until blackened, place in the oven at 180c until very soft(about 15 minutes)
2.    Dice the shallots & garlic finely, cook in the olive oil very gently until soft add the fennel & cumin seeds.
3.    Peel the blackened aubergine, discard the skin, take the soft flesh and roughly chop, place in a bowl.
4.    Blanch the tomato in boiling salted water for 10 seconds, refresh in ice water. Peel the tomato cut into quarters and de-seed & dice
5.    Add the cooked shallots, the chickpeas, the tahini, the zest & juice of lemon, the tomato and the herbs to the aubergine and mix gently. Set aside.