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Whole Grilled Yellowtail Snapper with Summer Cherry Salsa

By Chef Nicole Votano of DIRT


Yellowtail Snapper with Summer Cherry Salsa_1

Summer Cherry Salsa Ingredients

  • 3 cups cherries, pitted and cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup small diced jicama
  • ½ jalapeno finely diced (seeds removed)
  • 1 lime
  • ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Yellowtail Snapper Ingredients

  • 2 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pound whole yellowtail snappers, cleaned and scales
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 3 lime slices, ¼ inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil




  1. Zest orange and lime peel into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lime and orange into the same bowl as zest. Add all other ingredients to bowl, toss gently, season with salt to taste. Chill and serve within 4 hours.


  1. Light the grill and leave closed to preheat. Dry the inside and outside of the fish well. Cut three shallow slashes on each side of the fish, about 1 inch apart. Rub fish with extra virgin olive oil inside and out, then season cavity with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Place 3 sprigs of thyme and 3 lime slices in the fish. Season fish with salt, black pepper and and smoked paprika. Allow fish to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.


  1. Place the fish in a grill basket or directly on your grill (make sure it is very clean and has been rubbed with an oiled kitchen rag to avoid sticking). Cook over moderately high heat for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of your fish (do not attempt to move the fish in the first five minutes or you will risk it sticking and likely tear the skin). Turn and grill until golden on other side and just done, about 6 minutes longer. Remove the fish gently with a large spatula. Allow fish to rest for about 3-4 minutes to seal in juices.


  1. Lay the fish gently on a platter. Use two large spoons to separate the flesh from the bones and lift off the fillet. Turn the fish over and repeat. Repeat with the other fish. Top fish with Summer Cherry Salsa, coarse sea salt, and a drizzle of fine quality olive oil.

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