Maggie Beer

Fish Wrapped in Vine Leaves

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Step 1: Blanch leeks for 2 minutes and allow them to cool. Take off the outside leaves and cut the leeks in half lengthways. Remove pulp from Preserved Lemon, rinse and chop.

Step 2: Put all ingredients into the mortar, add a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and grind to a paste, adding more oil to paste if necessary.

Step 3: Line up four pairs of large fresh vine leaves that were blanched in boiling water for a minute (you can use preserved vine leaves if really well rinsed) and spread with even amounts of paste.

Step 4: Wrap fish in vine leaves, tie across the middle with the leeks, drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Step 5: On a barbecue or a grill plate, seal both sides and cook, turning each side again for around 15 minutes in total until the fish is cooked at its thickest part. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve on a bed of wild dill with lemon wedges.

Step 6: An alternative is to preheat the oven to 230C. Brush a large baking dish with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Bake the fish on a bed of the wild fennel.

Step 7: Bake for 10 minutes on one side, turn over for another 5 minutes, allow to rest, and sprinkle with some sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Maggie's Tip: I found with the kettle BBQ slow cooking was a much more gentle way of cooking this recipe. Cooking time will vary enormously between a gas BBQ and a kettle BBQ.


  1. 400g 2 leeks for tying vine leaves on the fish
  2. 140g 1 lemon
  3. 4 handfuls wild fennel for presentation
  4. To taste salt flakes
  5. 1.6kg 4 tommy ruff gutted and scaled


  1. 40g 2 tbspn capers
  2. 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
  3. 1/2 cup marjoram roughly chopped
  4. 20g 1 tbspn Preserved Lemons chopped or fresh zest

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