Looking for something quick to prepare that is also fresh, tasty and healthy? Then keep reading! Fish and goat cheese might not sound like the most attractive combination, but it definitely works in this dish. The citric taste of the fresh goat cheese cuts through the oiliness of the ocean trout and the crunchy fennel and pea salad adds freshness and textural contrast. Ocean trout filets are generally thin at one end and thick at the other and this can make the cooking process a bit tricky. The solution is to have it medium-rare. I usually eat the thin side first (which should be well done) to allow the thicker end to continue cooking. Because of the difference in thickness, the middle of the fillet will most likely still be raw*…and it is the best bit!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients for Baked Ocean Trout:
- 2 pieces of ocean trout fillet
- 100 grams of fresh goat cheese
- 12 pitted green olives
- Dried oregano
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of chilli olive oil
Ingredients for Fennel & Pea Salad :
- 2 baby fennel
- 100 grams fresh peas
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Step 1 – Turn the oven on: Pre-heat the oven on fan-forced mode for 5 minutes at 190 degrees.
Step 2 – Prepare the ocean trout: Rub the ocean trout with olive oil and salt, and place it, skin down, in an ovenproof dish. Place pieces of fresh goat cheese over the top, drizzle with a mix of plain olive oil and chilli olive oil. Scatter dried oregano and drizzle with lemon juice. Place the green olives around the ocean trout.
Step 3 – Bake* for 15 minutes: Place the dish on the middle rack of the oven and cook, uncovered, at 190 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of fish filet and the level of doneness you are trying to achieve.
Step 4 – Prepare the Fennel & Peas Salad: Wash the fennel bulbs, cut off the hard bottom and the leafy top. Slice the fennel thinly. Then pod the peas and cook them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain the peas and immediately transfer them into a cold water bath. Add them to the fennel salad. Season with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of lemon juice and cracked salt.
Step 5 – Serve: Carefully transfer the ocean trout onto the plates (the skin should just fall off or stick to the dish – do not serve it, it will be soggy). Serve with the side of fennel and peas salad and lemon cheeks.
Mix & Match
Salmon would, of course, be a perfect alternative to ocean trout.
The fennel & pea salad could well be replaced by a fennel & orange salad or a green asparagus & orange salad. I highly recommend you try blood oranges if they are in season.
Either a Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling would work a treat.
*Did you Know?
- Make sure that the ocean trout or salmon is very fresh if you are going to cook it medium rare. How to identify a fresh piece of fish? It should have a firm texture, a glossy look, should not be brown around the edges and should only have a slight fishy smell.
- Baking (without a cover) is my favourite cooking method for oily fish such as salmon and ocean trout. It is a fairly slow and gentle cooking method which will result in a very tender piece of fish. It is a good method for beginners as chances to overcook the fish are lower than with pan-frying or steaming for example. The other great argument for baking oily fish is that the smell will remain in the oven!