Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Fish Baked in Vine Leaves with Fennel and Lemon

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 servings
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3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons each finely chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel greens

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 (6ounces) fillets of white fish, such as bass, snapper, halibut, perch, mullet, or pike

1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise

3 1/2 inch thick slices lemon, halved

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

About 36 large vine leaves, well rinsed

3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced

Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. In a large, shallow ceramic or earthenware baking dish, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and add to the marinade, turning to coat all sides evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the fish from the marinade. Lay out 3 or 4 vine leaves on the counter, overlapping them to form a large, sturdy wrapper. Place a few slices of fennel in the center. Place a piece of fish on top and scatter a few more slices of fennel on top of it. Top the fennel with 1 slice of lemon and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Wrap the fish in the vine leaves and lay it, seam side down, in an ovenproof baking dish. Repeat with the remaining fish. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the fish is opaque (you can peek to make sure they are done). Garnish each package with some of the diced tomato. Serve immediately and let the diners unwrap their own fish. Pass a small cruet of extra virgin oil for drizzling.