Project Description

I cooked these lovely little fish at Vivari Beach at Drepano during filming Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece. If you can’t find Barbounia, which incidentally are small red mullet, white fish fillets such as whiting or flathead are an ideal substitute. These are perfect as part of a meze, naturally served with ouzo on ice, or when teamed with Marouli (meaning lettuce in Greek) salad to make a light lunch or dinner.

Servings: 4
Preparation and Cooking Time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour soaking for lettuce

Marouli salad
1 small cos lettuce
4 green onions (green shallots), sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1½ – 2 tablespoons lemon juice

12 vine leaves
12 barbounia (baby red mullet), cleaned or white fish fillet eg. whiting
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges, to serve

  1. For the Marouli salad, separate the lettuce leaves and soak for an hour or so. Drain but do not dry completely. Squeeze between your hands and shred finely. Combine the lettuce, green onion and dill in a serving bowl. In a screw-top jar, combine the oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and shake well. Half an hour before serving, dress the salad and toss gently.
  2. For the Barbounia, rinse vine leaves, pat dry and lay out flat. Place one fish in the middle of each vine leaf. Fold in the two sides then roll up and put on a plate seam side down. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add fish, seam side down and cook for 3 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the fish. You may want to unwrap one to ensure it is cooked through.
  3. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and Marouli salad.

Lyndey’s Note:  Ideally, small vine leaves are preferable to allow the head and tail of the fish to peep out. Otherwise, you could cut large vine leaves in half.