120ml dry white wine
24 mussels
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 red capsicum, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon oregano, very finely chopped
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tomatoes, very finely chopped
100g preserved vine leaves, rinsed

Fish wrapped in vine leaves is a great Mediterranean dish; oily fish such as sardines are popular, but NZ mussels work well as they are big and meaty. If your leaves are small, you may need to overlap two.


1.Bring the wine to the boil in a large saucepan and cook the mussels for about 4 minutes until opened.
2.Remove as soon as they open, cool and remove from their shells.
3.Carefully sieve the wine and set aside.
4.Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, capsicum, oregano and chilli with a sprinkle of salt, for 10 minutes until soft.
5.Add the tomatoes and wine and cook for a further 5 minutes to boil down and thicken as you don’t want too much liquid.
6.Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7.Place a mussel in the centre of a vine leaf with a tablespoon of the capsicum mixture and wrap up. You can secure with a toothpick if needed.
8.Heat the barbecue to hot and cook for about 1 minute each side until the mussel is just heated through (you could do a test on one first to see how fast your barbecue cooks them).
9.You could serve these with a simple yoghurt and dill dip if you like.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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