Trout au bleu

When you have access to a freshly-caught trout, Valentine Warner suggests an elegantly hearty accompaniment of lentils and vinaigrette
By Valentine Warner
Trout au bleu
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1 very fresh trout, gutted, halved if necessary

For the court bouillon

  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 stick celery, halved
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bouquet garni, made with 1 large sprig thyme, 1 sprig parsley and 1 tbsp black peppercorns

For the lentils

  • 150 g green lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 2-3 mint leaf, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped curly parsley

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Tips and Suggestions

Don't be tempted to clean the mucus off the fresh fish as it is this that, combined with the vinegar in the court bouillon, turns the trout blue.

This dish will taste even better if you can make the court bouillon the day before and leave it to stand overnight.

Method

1. For the court bouillon: put the vinegar in a large pot with 2 litres of water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt plus the onion, celery, rosemary and bay leaf. Bundle the thyme, parsley and peppercorns for the bouquet garni in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie into a bag with kitchen string. Tie the string to the pot handle before placing the bag in the pot ' this means it can be easily removed later. Bring the pot to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove it from the heat at this point if you are making it in advance.

2. For the lentils: cook the lentils and garlic together in a pan of salted boiling water for approximately 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still have some bite. Drain and set aside.

3. Bring the court bouillon back to the boil if necessary and remove the bouquet garni. Plunge the fresh fish into the boiling liquid and watch as it turns blue ' the idea is that the fish is killed and cooked immediately. Poach the fish for 5 minutes then carefully remove it from the pan.

4. For the vinaigrette: combine the mustard, sugar, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly emulsified.

5. Mix the cooked lentils with the chopped mint and parsley, then dress them with the vinaigrette. Spoon onto a serving dish and place the trout on top.

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