Sunday, July 24, 2011

Smoked Trout, Two Ways

Once upon a time, we thought we shouldn't plant cilantro in the summer because it would bolt. Now we know better. Not only is green coriander an amazing find, balanced halfway between cilantro and coriander, but this week, our produce box came with a big bunch of fresh, green cilantro berries. They're like little bursts of cilantro with a hint of citrus, and we've been scattering them on everything we can think of.

Meanwhile, it's summer, and we're on the prowl for meals that don't involve turning the stove on. Like putting things on bread and eating them.

These two versions of open-faced smoked trout sandwiches taste completely different and yet share most ingredients in common, so it's easy to make both at once if you want a fancy-feeling summer picnic with fairly minimal effort. The bread could probably be toasted, but we liked it untoasted, and it's best to stick with something relatively plain to avoid overpowering the trout--a levain would work nicely, and Village Bakery's walnut levain (available at the Co-op or Taylor's, where you can also find smoked trout) was an unexpectedly perfect complement.

For a side veggie, try sauteed beet greens or chard.

Fresh bread, sliced
1/3 lb smoked trout
2 small scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

1-2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 ripe, fragrant tomato, thinly sliced
Cilantro berries (or sub a light scattering of chopped fresh cilantro)

Arrange the bread slices on a plate or two, then divide the avocado and trout equally among them, layering one over the other (avocado on the bottom is slightly easier to eat later, since it's less prone to slipping off the bread).

For trout with dill and tomato: Liberally sprinkle each piece of bread with scallions and dill, and top with a slice of tomato. Grind pepper over the top, and serve.

For trout with fresh cilantro berries: Sprinkle each piece of bread with just a few scallions and some cilantro berries (6-8 cilantro berries for each half-round of bread was a good amount for won't taste them much unless you bite directly into them, and then they give a burst of cilantro-y you want to end up with about one per bite). Sprinkle with black pepper, and serve.

You'd never guess (or at least, we never would have), but the cilantro pairs amazingly well with a glass of Gnarly Head old vine zinfandel.

Serves 2 for dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment