Mary McCartney’s Blackened Red Snapper from her new book, The Passionate Vegetable

Blackened Snapper.Passionate Vegetable book.

From the first tender pea shoots in spring to the last brilliant orange pumpkins in autumn, vegetables are the cook’s harbinger of the changing seasons. No longer banished as a “side”, vegetables are taking on starring roles with accolades for their healthful benefits and power food attributes.

The Passionate Vegetable, (Health Inspired Publishing) by fresh food chef and educator, Suzanne Landry, is chockfull of recipes and thoughts on the connection between food and healing. Try Barley Confetti Salad with Fresh Dill, Blackened Red Snapper with Corn Relish, and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese. You won’t be disappointed.

Mary McCartney, daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney and internationally acclaimed photographer, confesses she is by profession a photographer and not a cook. “Cooking is something I love to do…My husband and our friends were the ones who first made me seriously consider writing my own cookbook – They are always asking me to write down my recipes and say that I seem to “magic it up” out of nowhere…” Her new book, Food, Vegetarian Home Cooking, (Sterling Epicure) is the result of her efforts to transcribe her recipes after many years of having them all in her head.

“Growing up in a vegetarian family and having Mum at the helm in the kitchen, encouraging us all to muck in, was the best education I could have asked for.” The result is a new vegetarian cookbook that is a feast for the eyes filled with Mary McCartney’s food and personal lifestyle photography. Our recipe picks? Eggplant wraps and Watercress, Radish and Feta Salad. Yum.

Makes 4 servings

This spicy snapper is balanced with a cool summer relish of corn, tomatoes, and avocados. Substitute other filets such as catfish if you wish, as long as they are firm and thick.

4 red snapper filets

Seasoning mix:

¼ t. each of thyme, oregano, cayenne, paprika, ground black pepper

½ t. onion powder

½ t. arrowroot or organic cornstarch


¼ cup fresh or frozen corn

1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 avocado, cubed

¼ cup red onion, minced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 limes (one for garnish, one for juicing)

½ teaspoon salt

To make relish, combine corn, tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and salt and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make seasoning, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and transfer to plate. Press both sides of filets in mixture and set aside.

Preheat oil in a medium sized frying pan on high heat. Test oil for readiness by dropping a little seasoning in the pan. If it begins to sizzle immediately, it is ready. Place a few filets slowly into the oil and fry on both sides until fish is tender and flaky. Serve with relish and lime wedges.

Bites of Insight: Do not overcrowd pan or the oil will cool and the fish will absorb too much oil. The trick to lightly frying is that the temperature of the oil must remain consistent, which is achieved by not overcrowding the pan.




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