Smoked trout with tarragon mayonnaise

Sophie Grigson makes a pretty, easy starter for a summer evening, with a sharp crisp salad of cucumber and radish and a rich herb scented mayonnaise
By Sophie Grigson
Smoked trout with tarragon mayonnaise
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: medium


  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthways
  • 12 pink radishes, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black onion seeds, (optional)
  • 150 g smoked trout fillets, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices brown bread, lightly toasted, to serve

For the mayonnaise

  • 1 large sprigs tarragon, leaves only
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 150 ml rapeseed oil

Tips and Suggestions

For a quick way to make the mayonnaise, blend the tarragon leaves, salt, egg yolks, mustard and vinegar in a liquidiser. Leave the motor running and gradually trickle in the oil to form a thick mayonnaise, then taste and adjust seasoning.


1. Start with the cucumber and radish. Using a teaspoon, or a melon-balling knife, remove the seeds of the cucumber then slice into pieces about the thickness of a £1 coin. Mix with the radishes and salt. Cover and set aside for quarter of an hour.

2. Knead the cucumber and radish with your hands for a minute or so, then transfer to a colander. Squeeze out excess water with your hands. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl, and stir in the vinegar and black onion seeds. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until needed.

3. For the mayonnaise, begin by pounding the tarragon leaves and a little salt to a paste in a mortar. Work in the egg yolk, mustard and vinegar. Now drip the oil in, whisking constantly, and keeping on dripping, until a third of the oil has been used. Now you can increase the flow of the oil to a slow, steady trickle, whisking all the time. Keep on going until the oil is all incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or lemon as needed.

4. To serve, arrange one quarter of the trout on each plate with a little of the cucumber and radish salad, a mound of tarragon mayonnaise, and a slice of bread.

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