Red Snapper Baked in Vine Leaves

Recipe from Cooking with Too Hot Tamales,
by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (William Morrow, 1997)

Grape vine leaves are available in Greek or Middle Eastern markets,
where they often come packed in brine. Rinse off the brine before
using or substitute another strong leafy green like mustard or chard.
Wrapping always enhances flavors by sealing in juices
and adding a side note of flavor from the wrapper itself.
In a large, shallow ceramic or glass baking dish, combine the olive oil,
lemon juice, chopped fennel leaves, salt, and pepper. Pat the fish dry
with paper towels and add to the marinade, turning to evenly coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, in the refrigerator, 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread 3 or 4 vine leaves on the counter, overlapping to form a large,
sturdy wrapper for each fillet. Place a few slices of fennel in the center.
Cover with a fillet and scatter a few more slices of fennel on top.
Top with a half lemon slice and drizzle with olive oil.
Wrap the fish in the vine leaves and lay it, seam side down
in a large ovenproof baking dish. Repeat with the remaining fish,
placing in a single layer in the dish.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the fish is opaque,
opening one to check for doneness. Immediately transfer
to serving plates and have guests unwrap at the table.

Serves 6

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