Herbed Trout with Crushed Potato and Leek, and Fennel Salad

Herbed Trout

If you take nothing else from this recipe, you will at least leave with an unusual and delicious new way of cooking potatoes. Not bad. Consider it an early Christmas present.

Preparation time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Skill level: easy/medium
Serves: 2


  • 2 skinless trout fillets – pin-boned – 160 to 200g each (depending on how hungry/greedy you are)
  • small/new potatoes – scrubbed – 200g
  • butter – coarsely chopped – 25g
  • ½ leek – thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • vegetable stock (or chicken) – 100ml
  • dry white wine – 50ml
  • ½ fennel bulb – very finely sliced and crisped in iced water (fronds reserved for garnish)
  • ½ lemon – juice and finely grated rind
  • finely chopped mint – about a tbsp
  • finely chopped parsley – about a tbsp
  • 2 anchovy fillets – finely chopped
  • capers – rinsed – 1 tsp
  • Dijon mustard – ½ tsp
  • extra virgin olive oil – 35ml
  • s and p

For the potatoes:

Boil or steam the potatoes until just tender (10-12 minutes).

Drain and set aside.

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the leek and garlic and cook until softened (4-5 minutes).

Add the potatoes and coarsely crush with a wooden spoon.

Cook for 5 minutes before adding the stock and wine.

Cook until reduced by half (5-6 minutes), season to taste and keep warm.

For the salad:

Meanwhile, drain and dry the sliced fennel and combine in a bowl with reserved fronds, lemon juice and 15ml olive oil.

Season to taste, mix thoroughly and set aside.

For the herbed trout:

Combine the herbs, lemon rind, anchovies, capers and 1 tsp olive oil in a small bowl and season to taste. Set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the trout fillets and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Flip the fish and cook the other side to your liking (2-3 minutes for medium-rare).

Lightly brush the top of the fish with mustard and press on the herb mixture.

Quickly place under a pre-heated hot grill (just to heat the herb mixture)

Serve with the potatoes and fennel salad.

Verdict: Ooch, those potatoes are good … soft, buttery and boozy. Overall a great combo worth the tri-staged process.

Drink: A couple of early Saturday evening pre-dinner pints at the Gordon Ramsay owned ‘The Narrow‘ (Famed for its ‘boil in the bag’ menu). Despite claiming to be ‘a beautiful Grade Two listed building in and exquisite location’, the bar was a cold, soulless, corporate sort of place further spoilt by the playing of crap music.

Entertainment: ‘Cargo’ on DVD. A German ‘There is something else on this ship’ sci-fi which looks like ‘Alien’, sounds like ‘Blade Runner’ and bolts on a bit of ‘Matrix’. Obviously derivative and far from perfect, but visually excellent and well worth a rent.

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