Prep 50 mins
Cook 15 mins
The original Greek recipe calls for Red Mullet, but that fish is difficult to find in the U.S. A good substitute is Red Snapper, but you have to make sure they're small so that they can be wrapped in the vine leaves. From The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook.
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 4 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut chiffonade
- 4 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 4 small red snapper (about 8 oz each)
- 8 preserved grape leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- lemon wedge, for garnish
- Score a cross at the base of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then plunge into cold water and peel each down from the cross. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Finely chop the flesh, then place the tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl and leave to drain for 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Discard the drained liquid, then place the tomatoes in the bowl and add the garlic, anchovies, parsley, basil and olives. Season with salt and pepper.
- Season the fish well inside and out, then stuff each fish with 1/2 tablespoons of the tomato mixture.
- Rinse the vine leaves well and pat dry. Place two vine leaves together slightly overlapping. Divide the remaining tomato mixture into 4 portions. Spread half of one portion over the vine leaves, place a fish on top and spread the other half of the filling portion over the fish. Fold the leaves over to form a parcel, leaving some of the fish head and tail exposed. Repeat to make the other three parcels.
- Mix the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place the fish parcels on a non-metallic baking dish and brush all over with the lemon and oil, especially the tails, which burn easily.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully lift onto serving plates and garnish with lemon wedges.