This dish by Tim Madden for The British Trout Association is a joy to make, far quicker and simpler to do than it appears and tastes – a really lovely dish for a celebration lunch or supper. It is a light yet filling and clean tasting dish that has indulgence, flavour and freshness in equal quantities.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 large trout fillet – 600 – 800 g
200g washed watercress
2 large potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
40ml light olive oil
80 ml the best olive oil you can get
½ teaspoon mixed dried herbs
120g pot sour cream
4 (or 6) eggs
Pinch of chilli flakes
Water approx. 750 ml
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees (no fan).
Wash and thinly slice the potatoes – you can leave the skin on. Peel and chop the garlic, peel and slice the onion.
Begin sweating the onion, garlic, and potato in a saucepan with the light olive oil over a moderate heat. Once things begin to soften a little, add some seasoning and then add some water to comfortably cover the onion, garlic, and potato – bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is tender.
Meanwhile, generously butter your baking dish and lay the trout fillet in it, skin side down, season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the dried mixed herbs.
Once the potatoes have softened, add almost all the watercress to the pan (keeping a handful back for a garnish) and simmer for just 30 seconds – then pour the contents of the pan into the jug blender – place the lid on securely and cover with a tea towel and place your hand on top of the blender to help avoid re decorating the kitchen. Blend for 30 seconds, open, taste, correct seasoning and give it another 15 seconds – you should now have a bright green and peppery watercress sauce.
Pour the still hot sauce around the fish in the dish, then crack an egg into each “corner” of the dish. Next to each egg add a good dessertspoonful of sour cream and sprinkle the eggs and the cream with a few chill flakes. Drizzle half the good olive oil over the top and then place the whole thing in the hot oven for 20 mins (checking it after 15 to see how it’s getting on) – after this time, the eggs should be just set and the trout cooked.
Rest the dish for 2 minutes then spoon out generous portions into shallow bowls, drizzle with the best olive oil, a few flakes of sea salt and scatter with the remaining watercress before serving.