Fish in Grape Leaves

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 1h 30m

Serves 4

Cooking fish in grape leaves is an ancient Mediterranean tradition. Whole large sardines and tiny red mullets are among the most popular choices, although fish fillets can also be adapted to this method of cooking. In place of the lemon wedges, you can make a simple dressing of 5 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and a complementary herb of your choice.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or fennel fronds
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or dried oregano
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 pounds fresh large sardines, cleaned with heads left on, or 4 fish fillets such as sea bass, cod or sole, about 6 ounces each
  • Bottled grape leaves, rinsed of brine and stems removed
  • Lemon wedges


In a large, shallow nonaluminum dish, whisk together the olive oil, parsley or fennel, thyme or oregano, lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the fish and turn to coat well. Let marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Preheat a broiler or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Using 1-2 grape leaves per whole fish or fillet, wrap the leaves around the center, leaving exposed the head and tail of each fish or both ends of each fillet. Secure the leaves with toothpicks, if needed.

Place the fish packets on a broiler pan or an oiled grill rack and broil or grill, turning once, until opaque throughout, 7-10 minutes per side for whole fish and 5-6 minutes per side for fish fillets.

Transfer to a warmed platter and serve hot with lemon wedges.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 678

nutrition information per serving

603 calories; 40g total fat; 322mg cholesterol; 1261mg sodium; 3g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 56g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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