Whole Grilled Trout with Blood Orange and Fennel
A Taste of the Wild Featured Recipe
Published with permission from The Backyard Fire Cookbook by Linda Ly
© 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
Text © 2019 Linda Ly
Photography © 2019 Will Taylor
Grilling an entire fish—head and all—may seem intimidating, but it’s actually much more forgiving than trying to wrangle a delicate fillet on the grate. The high heat of a grill develops a deep brown crust on the skin, which helps the fish release easily from the grate. Trout, in particular, cooks quickly on the grill, and you can almost be assured that by the time the fish forms a crust on both sides, it’s done. The flesh stays tender and moist, and the orange and fennel infuse it with a mildly sweet aroma that doesn’t overwhelm the final dish.
YIELD: SERVES 4
4 blood oranges, thinly sliced
4 (14-ounce, or 395 g) whole trout, butterflied and deboned
Ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 fennel bulb, quartered, cored, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
Olive oil cooking spray, for preparing the trout
Prepare a medium-hot single-level fire in a fire pit or charcoal grill with a grill grate over the coals.
Cut half the orange slices into half-moons and reserve the orange rounds for topping the trout.
Pat the trout dry with paper towels and season them inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff each trout with 2 thyme sprigs, one-fourth of the fennel slices, and one-fourth of the orange half-moons. Layer 2 thyme sprigs and 3 orange rounds on top. Tie a long length of kitchen twine around each trout to secure the fixings. Lightly mist both sides with cooking spray.
Arrange the trout, orange-side up, on the grate over direct heat. Grill for about 5 minutes, until the flesh releases easily when you roll it over with a spatula. Flip and grill for about 5 minutes more, until the trout releases easily on the other side. Garnish with a few fennel fronds before serving.
About the Chef: Linda Ly is the author of several bestselling cookbooks, including The Backyard Fire Cookbook. Her expertise in edible gardening and her penchant for crushing common food myths is a cornerstone of her popular blog, found at gardenbetty.com. Her site has an emphasis on teaching you how to maximize your garden bounty and to preserve the harvest. Linda is an outdoor enthusiast who resides in Central Oregon with her family. Additional cookbooks include the highly acclaimed The New Camp Cookbook, as well as The Backyard Fire Cookbook and The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook. Follow Garden Betty on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.