Trout with tarragon and chives: Pick the bones out of that!

Two trouts for a fiver in Sainsbos seemed like a good deal, but when the in-laws were invited round to for an impromptu fish dinner (on the condition that they brought their own fish), they put JS Sainsbury’s tiddlers to shame.

Mrs Burnt’s mom and pop went to a proper fishmonger in Walthamstow, and came round with two massive trouts. They also announced that the big’uns where for The Men, which pleased your chef very much.

However, the presence of my beloved’s olds, and two (presumably) very expensive mega-trouts added a little pressure in terms of the quality of meal we ought to put on the table. Thankfully we stumbled upon a simple recipe that was done within 45 mins and rocked our familial world.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the fish
4 whole trouts, gutted and scaled and so forth
half a bunch of chives
Half a bunch of tarragon
Quarter of a bunch of parsley
4 cloves of garlic
Olive oil (spray oil worked well)
1 lemon to squeeze on when it’s all ready.
Salt and pepper

For the salad
1 can of chickpeas
1 bag of salad leaves
Cherry tomatoes
Feta cheese
Half a bunch of chopped mint

For the dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Half a teaspoon crushed garlic
Salt and pepper

How to

Get your fish and slash the skin six or seven times across the top. Not too deep – just through the skin.

Finely chop all the herbs, then divide each set of herbs into four portions. Shove each portion into the cavity of your fishes.

Finely chop your garlic and divide into four portions.

Spray the fish with sprayable olive oil, then bung a load of salt and pepper over the skin. Rub your garlic into the oil and into the slashes in the fish skin.

Shove in the oven for 25 minutes (we gave the bigger fish a 5 minute head start so they were all ready together).

Now make your salad dressing. Mix all the ingredients together and shake and stir like crazy. Taste it and if you like it, well done. If you don’t, put some more of something in it – salt, pepper, oil, balsamic – until it does it for you.

Put the leaves in a bowl.

Halve the tomatoes if you can be bothered. Stick them in with leaves.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Bung in bowl.

Finely chop the mint and sprinkle into the bowl. You might want to do this in stages while you stir and sniff, so it doesn’t get too toothpaste-y.

Give it a good mix and make sure the chickpeas haven’t all disappeared to the bottom.

Pour over the dressing at the last minute and give it a good mix again.

If you fancy it (you should it tastes lush) sprinkle some crumbled up feta cheese on the top.

Quarter your lemon ready for serving and squeezing on the fish and that.

Then you’ve just got to wait for your fish to finish cooking and serve it up.

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