Red Mullet Packets Perfumed with Mastiha

  • 4 whole red mullets (8 ounces/240 gr. each), scaled and gutted

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 3 Tbsp. Mastiha liqueur

  • 2 medium leeks, white parts only, washed and cut into very thin rounds

  • 1 small fennel bulb, very finely chopped

  • 1 medium ripe tomato, cut into 8 rounds

  • 4 tsp. small capers, drained

  • 4 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley or dill

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 lemon, sliced into 8 thin rounds

  1. Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and Mastiha liqueur in a large bowl, add the fish, turn in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Remove the fish from the marinade, reserving it. Place one fish on one of four 8-inch (20cm) square pieces of parchment paper. Top the fish with a tablespoon or two of the leek rounds and fennel, followed by 2 tomato slices, then 1 teaspoon capers, 1 tablespoon dill, a little lemon zest, and 2 lemon rounds. Drizzle the fish with a little of the marinade. Fold the paper over the fish to make a secure parcel, turning the top edges in together to seal. Repeat with the other three fish.

  3. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold all the parcels in one layer. Place the parcels seam-side up in the pan and sprinkle with a little water. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the fish is tender. Serve on individual plates, each fish in its parcel.