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Basil-Trout Roll with Orange-Fennel-Asparagus Salad
During summer the youth division on3 of the Bavarian Television (BR) is touring across Bavaria and broadcasts each week from a different city. Last week their tour bus stopped in Erlangen, the town I live in. Fortunately, the program directors decided to talk about foodblogging and invited 3 local foodbloggers from the surrounding area: Kathi (Kochfrosch), Sylvia (Rock the Kitchen) and me. It was nice to meet Kathi and Sylvia, since until recently I didn’t even know that there were other foodbloggers so close nearby. We were asked some questions about foodblogging and in the second part of the show we had to prepare some “food porn” using a few provided ingredients. The show was recorded on last Wednesday and aired both on the BR-alpha and BR channels. If you missed the show: it is available online at the on3 website.
Before the live show, Kathi, Sylvia and I were asked by the tv crew to join a skype meeting, where we helped one of the shows hosts prepare and cook a menu for his guests. The whole dinner was filmed and the resulting short film screened during the live show. I had to provide a recipe for the main course, so because I knew the show would air sometime in July, I planned a refreshing summer dish. The guests seemed pretty amazed, so hopefully others might would want to prepare this dish as well. Because I started myBites in last August, the recipe for the basil-trout rolls was featured on my (long-running) Hungarian foodblog only. Since now it’s exactly the right season for this dish (and due to the recently aired show on BR) I decided to share the recipe in English, too.
The base layer is an advanced version of my favorite Sicilian salad featuring fennel, onion and oranges. In this version I shaved the fennel, added some blanched green asparagus strips and reduced onions to a vinaigrette only. The fish rolls are simple if you have a sharp knife at hand – with skin on they simply don’t work. Basil leaves are great as filling, but you can substitute it to almost any greens or herbs you like. In spring, for example, I love to fill my trout rolls with fresh ramson, but tarragon, blanched parsley, dill or a mix of different herbs work as well.
Basil-Trout Roll with Orange-Fennel-Asparagus Salad
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 portions
1 rainbow trout (about 300-350g)
8-10 large basil leaves
1 small shallot
1 small garlic clove
3 tbsp mild olive oil
1 tbsp elderflower vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
2 green asparagus
1 small fennel bulb
freshly ground black pepper
For the trout
Wash the trout under cold running water and tap dry using kitchen paper. Trim off the fillets and remove the bones. Remove the skins with a sharp knife and discard any leftover bones. Lay the filets next to each other with their skin side down on a board. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover each filet with basil leaves and roll up from the narrow end. Prepare 2 A4 letter sized sheets of aluminium foil and 2 similar sized sheets plastic wrap. Add a few drops of olive oil on a plastic wrap, put a trout roll on it and roll it up tightly. Put the roll on a sheet of aluminium foil and roll it up tightly, forming a candy-like shape. Repeat with the other filet. Leave at room temperature - or refrigerate if cooked later.
You can cook the rolls either in the oven or in simmering water. I prefer simmering water, because it offers a much more predictable heat transfer and therefore it allows more precise cooking. For the simmering water method bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove the lid and lower the heat until the water is simmering only. Add the rolls and cook for 7-8 minutes. I like to add a plate on top of the rolls which ensures that all rolls are fully submerged. (For the oven method simply heat the oven to 100°C / 210 F. Put the rolls on an oven grid and cook for 25-30 minutes.)
For the vinaigrette
Peel and chop the shallot and the garlic clove. Put in a small jar, add 3 tbsp mild olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover the jar with its lid and shake well. Let stand for at least half an hour. Shake well again before serving.
For the salad
Wash the fennel, remove the fine leaves and reserve for decoration. Trim off the green parts. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline shave the fennel bulb into very fine slices.
Cut off the skin from the oranges. Make sure to remove all white parts. Using a sharp knife cut fillets from the orange and reserve.
Wash the asparagus and trim off the dry tough end. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline cut the asparagus sticks into long thin strips. Bring about 150ml water to a boil, add 1/4tsp salt and 1/4tsp sugar and blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Strain and immediately submerge the asparagus in ice water to preserve its green color. Drain the asparagus.
Carefully mix the fennel, asparagus and the orange fillets. Arrange on plates and sprinkle with a few teaspoons vinaigrette. Decorate with reserved fennel greens. Cut a trout roll (still wrapped in both foils) in half in a diagonal angle and slip the fish out of its packaging. Put the roll on the salad and serve immediately.