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Steamed snapper with burghul pilaff and pine nut sauce

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


Steamed snapper with burghul pilaff and pine nut sauce
Steamed snapper with burghul pilaff and pine nut sauce
  • 6 × 150 g (5½ oz) snapper fillets, or other firm white fish fillets
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 155 g (5½ oz/1 cup) pine nuts
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) lemon juice
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) verjuice or white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, to garnish
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • Burghul Pilaff
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, about 250 g (9 oz), trimmed, cored and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 350 g (12 oz/2 cups) coarse burghul (bulgur) 
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) chicken stock
  • 690 ml (24 fl oz) jar tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
  • 75 g (2½ oz/½ cup) currants
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1½ teaspoons pomegranate molasses (optional) 
  • 45 g (1½ oz/½ cup) flaked almonds, toasted 


1. To make the burghul pilaff, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium–low heat. Add the onion and fennel and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent.

2. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add the burghul, stock, passata, currants, honey and pomegranate molasses, if using. Reduce the heat to very low, then cover and cook for 20–25 minutes, or until the burghul has absorbed the liquid and is tender. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Just before serving, stir the almonds through.

3. Place the fish fillets in a steamer basket, in a single layer. Sprinkle with the lemon rind and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set over a saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam for 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.

4. Crush the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle or a small food processor. Mix in the lemon juice, verjuice and olive oil and stir or process until smooth, adding a teaspoon of cold water if necessary.

5. For the next day, reserve 2 fish fillets, half the burghul pilaff and half the pine nut sauce for the snapper pilaff rolls. (The fish can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight; the other ingredients can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 2 days, but are not suitable for freezing.)

6. Spoon the remaining pilaff onto serving plates. Top with the remaining fish fillets. Drizzle with the remaining pine nut sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Main ingredient:
Middle Eastern

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