Name Sardines in Vine Leaves


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* 24 small sardines, about 1.5 kg (3 lb), thawed if frozen
* 175 ml (6 fl oz) olive oil
* 4 tablespoons lemon juice
* 3 garlic cloves, crushed
* 6 thyme sprigs, finely chopped
* 2 shallots, finely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 24 large vine leaves
* salt and pepper
* lemon wedges, to serve

1. Rinse the sardines carefully in cold water, then pat them dry with some kitchen paper. Put them in a shallow dish and pour over the oil and lemon juice. Add the garlic, thyme, shallots and dried oregano. Cover and leave in the refrigerator or a cool place for 1 hour.
2. Remove the sardines from the marinade, reserving the latter. If there are any pieces of garlic, onion or herb clinging to the fish, leave them on. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper.
3. Place the prepared vine leaves on a flat surface, and brush the vein side with a little of the marinade. Roll up each sardine in a vine leaf, placing the sardine head at the stem end. Press the leaves gently to seal the package. The head and tails may protrude slightly at each end but this does not matter. Brush the vine leaves with a little more of the marinade.
4. Cook the sardines in a hinged grill over hot coals on a preheated barbecue for 3-4 minutes each side, basting with any leftover marinade, until the vine leaves are crispy. Serve with lemon wedges and wholemeal bread, if liked.

Serves: 4-6

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