Stuffed Rainbow Trout With Charred Bread

Whole trout begs to be stuffed. Here, the anise-like flavor of fennel along with toasted nuts and bright onions give it a delicious spin. Be sure to squeeze lemon over the cooked fish for a bright finish to the dish.

  • 2 8-oz. whole rainbow trout, butterflied and boned out
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts or pistachios, toasted and finely chopped*
  • 1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Loaf of ciabatta or other bread cut into wedges or thick slices
  • Capers (optional)
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.

  2. Pat the fish dry; lay open one trout on cutting board. Season flesh with salt; sprinkle with nuts. On one side of opened fish, lay fennel bulb slices, red onion slices and lemon slices. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and fennel fronds. Carefully, fold the other side of the fish over the stuffed side, holding the stuffing in place as you do so. Press down firmly. Repeat with second trout.

  3. Add flour to shallow bowl or baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Gently coat each side of fish with flour. Meanwhile, coat large skillet with oil; heat over medium-high heat. Oil is ready when piece of parsley dropped into it sizzles.

  4. Place fish in pan belly side out; leave an inch of space between them. Sear until golden on one side. Gently flip; add butter to pan. Place pan in oven; roast 10 to 12 minutes. Fish is done when meat by the spine is translucent.

  5. Meanwhile, char bread over open flame of stove; set aside.

  6. To serve, carefully place fish on platter. Drizzle with pan juices; sprinkle with capers and chopped fennel frond. Serve with bread and lemon wedges.

2 servings

*To toast hazelnuts, heat oven to 400°F. Place whole nuts on rimmed baking sheet; toast for 3 to 5 minutes stirring once.

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