Joanna and I went to Pike Place Market yesterday, intending to buy Copper River salmon, but I went into sticker shock and came home with trout for $3.99 a pound. Into the pan went the box of dying grape tomatoes, praying for revival, with some withering shallots and a little chardonnay, and out came a simple, elegant-looking trout dish. We mopped up the juices with a great baguette.
Tip: Waiting until the vegetables are done cooking down to turn on the oven (instead of turning on the oven before you start) offers a grace period conducive to finishing the bottle of wine.
Recipe for Baked Trout with Red Pepper, Cherry Tomato, and Caper Sauce
Recipe 177 of 365
It’s a mouthful of a title, but the flavors are actually quite simple: tender fresh trout, baked on top of a vegetable compote made from shallots, peppers, tomatoes, capers, cilantro, and a good slosh of white wine. If you can’t find trout in your area, substitute any fish with firm, white flesh (halibut, cod, or bass would be delicious).
This is a chop-as-you-go recipe – no need to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time.
*If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, just transfer the vegetables from your skillet to a 9” x 13” baking dish before adding the fish.
TIME: About 45 minutes total cooking time
MAKES: 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 large shallots, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 serrano chili peppers, finely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (packed) finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup capers
2 whole trout (about 2 pounds), gutted, heads removed, rinsed and patted dry
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then the shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add both kinds of peppers, and cook another 5 minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes, season again with salt and pepper, and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to give up their juices.
Increase the heat to high. Add the wine, and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in half the cilantro and the capers. Place the fish (whole, skin on) on top of the vegetables, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque in the center. Sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top of the fish, and serve the filets immediately, topped with the vegetables.