A dangerously tender and buttery texture results from baking it in a cooling oven. Use the freshest trout you can get your hands on, and let the fish monger do the basic cleaning for you. —Coco et Cocoa
whole trout, 3-4 lbs, gutted and scaled
small lemon, thinly sliced
pesto, recipe follows
medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
pine nuts, toasted
fresh sweet basil
large garlic clove
fine sea salt
1/4 to 1/3 cups
extra virgin olive oil
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, with the rack placed in the center. Cover the bottom of a large roasting pan with aluminum foil. Drizzle it all over with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
Meanwhile, prepare the fish. Trout have a slimy protective coating that also happens to be the source of its “fishy” taste. To remove this slime, rub the skin of the trout generously with 2 tbsp of the salt – that’s right, massage it with lots of love. Leave it for 2 minutes and rinse off the trout under cold, running water. Pat as dry as possible with paper towel, and repeat the process again with the remaining salt.
Place the cleaned, dry trout into the prepared pan. Smear the pesto onto each of the lemon slices and fit them snugly, overlapping slightly, into the abdominal cavity. Add the zucchini to the pan and season everything with black pepper and a little more salt.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven, and let it sit in the hot oven for another 45 minutes, up to an hour.
Serve with boiled new potatoes and a simple green salad.
Pack all the ingredients except for the olive oil into the food processor. Pulse a few times, until the ingredients are evenly minced. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the container a few times in between and push
ingredients toward the blades.
With the motor running, drizzle in enough of the olive oil until a textured paste forms (it should be spreadable, and not runny). Again, you may need to scrape down the sides a few times to help out your machine.
This makes plenty more than the trout recipe calls for, but it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. Just put it in a small glass jar, smooth out the top, and drizzle in more olive oil just to seal the surface of the pesto.