Rainbow trout with hazelnuts and sage
A delicate oil-rich fish with a distinctive herbaceous and sometimes earthy flavour. It makes a very good and less rich alternative to salmon.
To compliment the earthy flavour of trout robust flavoured herbs including sage, basil, tarragon, bay and rosemary work well with it. Citrus fruits also work well.
2 organically farmed trout, gutted (350 - 450g each)
55g unsalted butter
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp finely chopped sage,
40g chopped and toasted hazelnuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the fins off the trout, but leave the dorsal fin attached (this will pull away easily once the fish is cooked and is a good indicator). Scale the fish using the back of a knife or fish scaler. Rinse and gut the fish taking great care to remove the blood line of the fish (this runs along the backbone of the fish and is the kidney function. It tastes bitter and if left in will taint the flavour of the surrounding flesh). Arrange the fish on the baking sheet and season well with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes. When the fish is cooked the dorsal fin will pull away easily as will the skin. If the fish is whole, the eye will also turn white. Peel the skin away from the upperside of the fish and lift onto a serving dish. In the meanwhile, heat the butter in a large frying pan until it is just turning brown (beurre noisette). Add the lemon, sage and hazelnuts. Season lightly with salt and pepper, swirl the ingredients together and pour over the trout whilst it is still sizzling. Serve with mashed root vegetables or plain boiled potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.