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Roasted trout and artichokes with almonds, breadcrumbs and mint
All wrapped up with smoky bacon
“This is a really great way to spruce up trout for a special dinner – the flavour combos are cracking ”
8 x 120 g trout fillets , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
1 small handful almonds , blanched
1 bunch fresh mint , leaves picked
1 ciabatta , preferably stale
2 lemons , zest and juice of
1 clove garlic , peeled and finely chopped
12 marinated artichoke hearts , drained and sliced
4 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
freshly ground black pepper
1 small handful fresh thyme , leaves picked
5 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
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I used to go trout-fishing with Grandad when I was a kid. We would catch them, then go straight back to his pub and grill them with a little bit of butter. I liked to eat them with fried potatoes with onions — so good — and a nice squeeze of lemon juice. I came up with this recipe using preserved artichoke hearts from my local deli. In the picture I’ve used one large 8lb trout, but it works just as well if you use individual trout fillets. Salmon trout or salmon are both good too. Ask your fishmonger to scale, gut and fillet the fish for you.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and rub a roasting tray with a little olive oil. Lay 4 of the trout fillets, skin side down, on the tray, with a few bits of string under each fillet. Lightly toast the almonds in the oven for a couple of minutes – watch them carefully as they don’t take long – then bash them up using a pestle and mortar (or a metal bowl and a rolling pin). Try to get some powdery and some chunks. Put the almonds into a bowl and rip in the mint.
Take the crusts off the ciabatta and whiz it up in a food processor or chop up. Add the lemon zest, chopped garlic, artichoke hearts, and 5 tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it up well and sprinkle a good handful of the mix over each trout fillet. Place the other 4 fillets on top of the breadcrumb mix, skin side up, laying a bacon rasher along the top of each one, and secure with the string. Sprinkle the thyme over the top and any excess filling around the tray.
Place in the middle of the preheated oven and cook for about 15 minutes, until the trout is golden and crisp. Season the yoghurt generously with salt and pepper and add a little lemon juice.
When the fish is ready, cut the string and serve the fillets with a nice drizzle of yoghurt and a green salad. Give everyone a lemon half on their plate so they can squeeze the juice over their fish.