A sure-to-impress one-dish recipe for perfectly baked trout with lemon and herbs — who says preparing fish at home has to be difficult?
Whenever I eat baked trout I feel as though I’m somehow instantly becoming a healthier and better person by proxy. This sensation is partly psychological, although there’s no denying the nutritional benefits that are to be gleaned from eating fatty fish. I live with someone who doesn’t eat fish so I limit these sessions of trout-induced superiority to evenings when I’m alone in the apartment. This baked trout recipe is easy to assemble quickly when you’re hungry (and craving feelings of robust healthiness). From start to finish, the process takes less than 30 minutes. The trout’s pale coral flesh becomes buttery soft once baked in a hot oven for a very brief amount of time. The fruity sourness of the lemon and the heat of the crushed black pepper once again prove to be an effective marriage of flavours and the Dijon mustard binds the two together with unwavering certainty.
Tips for making this baked trout recipe:
- For even baking, use a trout fillet with a uniform thickness throughout. You can also use two smaller, similarly-sized fillets in place of a large fillet.
- Don’t be afraid to use a flavourful olive oil! Like other fatty fish (think salmon, tuna and sardines) trout is loaded with flavour—which means it can hold its own when it’s paired with an assertive olive oil.
- Remove trout from the oven a minute or two before you think the fish is completely cooked through. This task becomes easier with experience, but the flesh should fall apart fairly easily in large-ish sections with a gentle prod from a fork. In other words, avoid baking the trout until it’s dry and flaky. With practice this step becomes intuitive, but in the meantime may I direct you to this handy chart for information on cooking fish.
- Get creative with fresh herbs! I like to use parsley, oregano, basil, cilantro, and dill, either alone or in combination. Boost the pot by adding a pinch of dried herbs to the fresh.
How to serve trout with lemon and herbs:
- Baked trout is fairly rich on its own, so I like to serve it with something lighter, such as a scaled-back take on my Big Green Salad For a Crowd. If I need something more substantial or I have more time for prep, I make a version of this Roasted Golden Beet Salad with any root vegetables that might be lingering in the fridge or pantry.
- This trout can be made a day in advance and served cold, either as part of a breakfast spread or a composed salad. Serve with plenty of lemon slices, capers, and a delicious homemade aioli.
Baked Trout with Lemon and Herbs
- 1 large trout fillet skin on
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs of your choice (wash and remove stems first) chopped and loosely packed
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice and zest, fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and black pepper in a shallow baking dish.
- Place trout fillet in the oil and herb mixture, spooning the marinade over the fish until covered.
- Bake the trout, uncovered, until the flesh is just cooked enough for it to fall apart with the touch of a fork—about 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the trout just before it's completely cooked through, cover loosely with foil, and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove trout from baking dish, drizzle with extra marinade, and serve hot.
Four Tet’s latest album “Sixteen Oceans” was released right before the quarantine began and boy, was I happy to have something so beautiful around during those first few months. “Baby” is the single, but I can’t recommend the entire album enough — it’s so breezy and playful. I saw Four Tet in Vancouver over a decade ago with my sister and we had such a blast dancing together, it’s truly impossible to imagine being in a packed music venue right now (or in the future). For now, at least, all dancing is limited to the living room. My other favourite tracks from this album are “School” and “Insect Near Piha Beach.”
Four Tet – Baby