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Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Serves 4 There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets: 1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature. 2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking. 3- Pad dry the fish fillets before seasoning. 4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet. 5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes one flip you read it well.
Course dinner
Cuisine FUSION
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe


For the Cilantro Pesto:

  • 4 cups about 2 bunches of Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 chilies 2 Serrano peppers 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level.)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

  • 4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
  • 1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
  • 1-2 handfuls of frisse or arugula
  • The juice of one medium orange.
  • A splash of Rice Vinegar
  • A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

  • 4 Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


  1. Make the pesto: Add every pesto ingredient to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing until a rough paste. Pulse it more times for a smoother consistency. I like it a bit more chunky, small pieces of peanuts still show and the herbs are roughly chopped, but not completely pureed.

  2. For the Left Over Pesto: I’ve been using it on avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

  3. Make the potato salad: place all salad ingredients in a bowl and gently toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

  4. Sear the fish: 

    Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place trout fillets into the very hot skillet remember the fish enters the pan skin side down. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes,  as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough. 

    The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops. 

    Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

  5. Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.

    Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer!

  6. Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.