Grilled rabbit trapani-style

Grilled rabbit trapani-style

Ben's BBQ Bible
Billy Law

When I visited Sicily once, I ate an amazing meal at a small trattoria in the port city of Trapani, on the western tip of the island. I can’t remember the name of the place, but the two things I do remember were the fantastic antipasti trolley and the huge grill in the kitchen, on which all sorts of wonderful fish and meats were being cooked. Several of our party had baby rabbit, which I must admit was probably the most mouth-wateringly tasty rabbit I have ever eaten. I know it’s not very politically correct to eat baby anything, unless it’s octopus, but it was awesome.

On my return to London I ordered the smallest rabbits I could find and put the dish on the menu at the River Café. I love to serve this dish with Refried beans.

When buying your rabbits, ask your butcher to split each one down the length of its spine into two halves. Don’t trim any belly fat, as this will become lovely and crisp on the barbecue.


Quantity Ingredient
3 small rabbits
or 2 larger rabbits, split down the spine into two halves, (ask your butcher to do this)
2 tablespoons dried wild oregano
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
160ml extra virgin olive oil


  1. Prepare your barbecue for direct grilling over a medium heat.
  2. Dry-rub your rabbits with the dried oregano, followed by the chilli, and then with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the rabbits on the grill, bone side first. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn them over to the skin side and cook for a further 8 minutes, until nicely charred and coloured.
  4. Once cooked, remove to a chopping board. Using a big chopping knife, cut each side into three parts: leg, rib section and shoulder. Place on a serving dish with 1 lemon, cut into wedges.
  5. In a mortar, pound the fresh oregano with a teaspoon of salt to form a fine green paste. Add the juice of the remaining lemon and mix, then add olive oil to make a dressing.
  6. Serve the oregano dressing with the rabbit.
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