If you’re not cooking trout or salmon this way already, make it your mission to give it a try. There’s absolutely nothing appealing about flaccid fish skin, but crisped up, trout or salmon skin is like the pork crackling of the fish world.
The trick is to cook the fish gently. It needs a medium heat, not searingly high, I think that would surprise most people. The fish skin is liberally salted, much like pork skin is for crackling and then it is cooked mostly skin side down. You can actually see the flesh turning opaque if you look carefully on the side of the fish fillet. When it is about 3/4 cooked, you flip it over and cook it for literally a minute, no more.
The vegetables are something special too and it all comes together whilst the trout rests.
The last little flourish is horseradish cream which just goes incredibly well with trout or salmon in any form. You’ve got to give this one a try!
2 x 200g fillets ocean trout or salmon, boned but with skin intact
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt flakes
1/4 cup nuts (I used blanched almonds, but pine nuts or walnuts would also work well), chopped
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and drained
1 fat clove garlic
6 -8 stalks cavalo nero (tuscan kale), coarsely shredded
1 head broccoli, broken into small florets
1 ripe tomato, roughly diced
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon sour cream
Place a pan onto medium heat and let it come to temperature. Meanwhile, using some paper towel, dry the skin of the ocean trout then salt liberally. Pour the olive oil into the pan and place the trout skin side down in the pan. Do not touch or move the fish, but keep an eye on it. When the flesh has turned opaque about 3/4 of the way up the side of the fish, flip it over and cook for just a minute (or less) then immediately remove from the pan to rest on a plate.
Meanwhile in the same pan, throw in the nuts and capers. When the nuts appear to be getting golden, add the kale, broccoli, tomato and garlic. Stir frequently until the vegetables are cooked and the tomato has released some of its juices. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and some pepper.
To make the horseradish cream, stir the horseradish and sour cream together.
Serve a dollop of the horseradish cream on top of the trout and the vegetables on the side.