The long-tailed red snapper is fabulous when consumed raw, but of course that means it has to be exceedingly fresh. Simply sliced, marinated in olive oil, drizzled with a little citrus juice, and perhaps strewn with some fresh lemon thyme leaves…it’s hard to beat a preparation like this for simplicity and elegance. The fish literally melts in your mouth, with the olive oil providing an almost decadent richness. This is the perfect way to start a light warm-weather meal.

SERVES 4

VINAIGRETTE

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice

½ cup blood orange, cut into segments

12 thin slices skinless red snapper, each 4 × 2 inches (about 1 small fish)

Fleur de sel or sea salt

Grains of paradise in a peppermill

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup shaved fennel bulb

¼ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice

Fennel pollen

1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE

Combine the oil and the juice in a small bowl. Add the orange segments and let marinate for 15 minutes.

FOR THE SALAD

Season the snapper with salt and grains of paradise to taste, and rub with 3 tablespoons of the oil.

Season the shaved fennel with the juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and a pinch of salt.

Create a small mound of the shaved fennel in the center of each of 4 serving plates. Layer 3 slices of the snapper over the fennel salad. Place a few of the marinated orange segments around the snapper, and dress with about 2 tablespoons of the blood orange vinaigrette. Sprinkle fennel pollen on and around the snapper. Add a few grinds of grains of paradise and the lemon thyme leaves, and serve.