Butterflied Trout

Trout is an inexpensive, and oft-overlooked fish.  Butterflying the trout means removes the backbone and ribs, enabling the fish to lay completely flat in the pan- and making it's cook time just minutes.  The trout sits in a pool of a soft zucchini coulis, and is topped by a bright and earthy yellow beet salsa. 

yields one whole trout

Yellow Beet Salsa:

  • 1 large yellow beet

  • 1 T chives minced

  • 1/2 t cracked black pepper

  • 1/4 t white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Wrap yellow beet in foil, place on a sheet pan, and put in oven.  Cook beet for about 45 minutes, or until beet is tender.  Once beet is cool, peel and wash.  Grate beet on a box grater, using the largest size holes.  Combine beet, chives, pepper, and vinegar in a small bowl; season with salt to taste.  Set aside.

Zucchini Coulis:

  • 1 large golden zucchini roughly chopped

  • 4 T olive oil

  • 1/4 t white wine vinegar

Blanch zucchini: Prepare a bowl of ice water.  Fill a sauce pan 3/4 of the way full with water; bring to a boil.  Salt the water, and add the zucchini.  Cook for 3 minutes, strain, and set squash in the bowl of ice water.  To a blender, add blanched zucchini, white wine vinegar, and olive oil.  Blend until smooth.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve.  Season with salt to taste.

Herb Oil:

  • 1/2 C chopped parsley

  • 1/4 C water

  • 1/4 C lemon juice

  • 1/2 C olive oil

Add parsley, 1/4 C of water, lemon juice, and olive oil to a high-speed blender.  Blend until parsley oil is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  This makes about 1/2 C of parsley oil, about 2 T of the oil is needed for this recipe.  

Pan-Seared Trout:

  • 1 whole trout, butterflied and cleaned

  • 2 T unsalted butter

  • 1/4 t smoked paprika

Add butter to a large sauté pan, melt at medium heat.  Pat trout dry, season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the smoked paprika evenly on trout.  Add fish to pan, skin-side down.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until skin is crispy and is not at all stuck to the pan.  Flip fish and cook for about 1-2 minutes; just until cooked through.  Remove fish from pan, and set aside.


Spoon about 2 T of the herb oil in the outline of a large oval on a serving plate.  Spoon some of the coulis directly onto middle of the plate- spreading the sauce to make an oval (while still keeping the edges of the herb oil visible.  Place trout directly on top.  Spoon yellow beet salsa all along the middle of the fish (where the backbone was).  Garnish with parsley leaves, microgreens, flake salt, and cracked pepper.


beer: Kölsch.  This German-style is light and dry.  The earthiness of the beet salsa complement the herbal notes of the beer.  Some beers to look for: Gaffel Kölsch, Ithaca Mo'Kölsch, Reissdorf Kölsch.

cocktail: Yellow Nectarine Sangria