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Sardines in Vine Leaves

Serves 4

Preparation 15 minutes

cooking time 6 minutes

Recipes Andy Harris
Food Styling Hannah Meppem
Wine Matches Peter Bourne
Photography William Meppem
Styling Sabine Schmitz


3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
juice of ½ lemon
16 sardines, scaled and cleaned,
16 fresh or preserved vine leaves, washed in plenty of water
3 large tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
4 long green capsicum, seeded and finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped,
4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, including stems, finely chopped
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1½ lemons.

TO SERVE: lemon wedges


1 For salad, place tomatoes, capsicum, onion and parsley in a bowl. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add olive oil and lemon juice and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2Place olive oil, oregano and lemon juice in a bowl, and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3Place sardines on a platter and pour the oil, oregano and lemon juice mix over the top of the sardines.

4Spread vine leaves on a flat surface and place a sardine on each leaf. Wrap the leaf around the sardine and brush with more of the olive oil, oregano and lemon mixture.

5Place the sardines on an oiled grill plate of a barbeque on medium heat, and cook for 3 minutes each side or until the sardines are cooked and the vine leaves are beginning to blacken.

6Serve immediately with the salad.

Wine Match

2019 Bianca by KT Vermentino, Clare Valley and Murray Darling, A$29

Vermentino is indigenous to the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Corsica. Since arriving on our shores vermentino has adapted quickly to the warm-growing conditions of McLaren Vale, Heathcote and the regions along the Murray-Darling River system.  The Mediterranean is brimming with seafood; traditionally it is prepared in a rustic manner, like these vine-leaf-wrapped sardines. Vermentino makes an ideal companion, with its bright lemon pith flavours, texturally rich palate and energetic profile. The hallmark of vermentino is its zesty acidity, which cuts cleanly through the pungent flavours of the sardines. Kerrie Thompson’s intuitive take on vermentino lifts the rustic variety to new (vinous) heights.