Make Snapper the Star of Your Summer Table

By Jennifer McKee


Devin Walline is the new executive chef at The Harpeth, a boutique hotel in Franklin, Tennessee 30 minutes south of Nashville. He oversees The Harpeth’s upscale, signature restaurant, 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails, the casual McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions and the hotel’s catering program and has worked in the culinary industry for more than a decade.

Walline has fond memories of his family’s kitchen growing up; that sense of social gathering led him to the culinary world.

“I have vivid memories of doing my homework at the kitchen table while my dad prepped dinner and my mom talked about her day and enjoyed a glass of wine,” says Walline. “The whole process was about family and bringing people together to share stories and experiences about our day, and it all centered around food.”

Snapper is one of Walline’s favorite summer dishes to prepare.

“This is the perfect light summer dish,” he says. “It’s simple, bright and full of flavor. The star is the snapper, and we let it shine by searing it skin on. The skin is my favorite part of the dish.”

Chef Walline’s snapper recipe is below. Don’t forget to read on for the gremolata and garlic purée recipes, additional components of the dish.


Chef Walline’s Snapper
The snapper is served with roasted potatoes, garlic purée, poached cherry tomatoes, gremolata and toasted hazelnuts

Serves 2

2 6 oz. skin-on snapper filets
½ lb. fingerling potatoes
1 cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup hazelnuts
1 cup gremolata (see recipe below)
½ cup garlic purée (see recipe below)

Cut fingerling potatoes into half pieces. Coat the potatoes in canola oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook at 425° F until they are golden brown and tender (about 20 minutes).

Submerge cherry tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pot, and cook on low heat for 20 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rough chop hazelnuts and toast in the oven at 350° F for eight minutes until golden brown.

Make gremolata and garlic purée according to recipe.

In a sauté pan, add one tablespoon of canola oil and turn on medium high heat. Season snapper with salt and pepper, and sear skin side down. Gently press on the snapper with a spatula for 30 seconds so that the skin can develop a good crust. Adjust heat to medium and continue to cook for six minutes. With a spatula, turn the fish over and continue to two-three minutes until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees. 


Gremolata recipe

1 head parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 each lemon zested
1 each orange zested
Juice of one orange
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Gradually add EVOO until desired consistency.


Garlic purée recipe

 250 g garlic cloves
Heavy cream, enough to cover

Peel skins and trim brown tips off garlic. Cover garlic with cold water and bring to a boil. Once to a boil, pour off water into a strainer and recover with cold water and bring to a boil again. Do this seven times.

After seven times of coming to a boil, remove all water and cover with cream. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Be careful to not brown the cream. Turn off heat and let garlic steep for 10 minutes.

Remove and reserve cream from garlic and then add garlic to blender. Add just enough cream to begin the blender and salt to taste.

Be sure to label, date and store the leftover gremolata and garlic purée appropriately.


For more information on The Harpeth, visit
All photos courtesy The Harpeth

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