- 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 2 small trout, rainbow or brown, cleaned
Farmed rainbow trout has pretty, spotty skin…
- 1 large bunch thyme
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 4 slices pancetta, or rashers of smoked streaky bacon
Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…
- 4 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 100g fine green bean
- 2 tbsp toasted flaked almond
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Heat oven 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Cut half the lemon into 4 thin slices and juice the other half. Score each fish 3 times on one side. Place the fish on a baking tray, scored side up, and season liberally inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff each fish cavity with thyme, a sprinkling of garlic and a lemon slice. Lay the rest of the thyme on top of the fish and top with a lemon slice. Wrap the pancetta around, holding the lemon and thyme in place. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake for 20 mins until the pancetta is golden and the fish is cooked.
While the fish is cooking, boil the beans in a pan of salted water for 4-5 mins until just cooked and still vibrant. Drain and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and almonds. Serve the fish with the beans on the side.
In a natural environment, trout feeds on freshwater shrimp, which gives it that bright orange flesh. Farmed trout usually has additions to its diet of fishmeal to help give this colour – the diet of farmed fish is strictly regulated. Organic farmed trout has a much paler flesh & a delicate flavour, unless it has access to natural shrimp in its water. Nonfarmed trout cannot be labelled organic as you can never really know what a wild fish has eaten.
Whole trout or fillets? CJ says...
I prefer to buy whole with the head attached. When roasting or grilling a whole small fish, the eyes will turn white – an indicator that the fish is nearly cooked. The fish head also contains cheeks – known as pearls – which are tasty. The skin helps to keep the fish moist during cooking and pulls away easily once the flesh is cooked. Freshness indicators are bright eyes, a little natural slime, firm-looking body and often a slightly herby smell too.
Traditional recipes include pan-fried trout served with a lovely browned butter and toasted almonds. However, pan-frying can be tricky as often the trout is too big for the pan and is difficult to turn without tearing the skin. It’s easier to grill or roast it on a high heat with citrus and herbs.