Raw sea trout with pickled samphire
This is a great way to stretch out a sea trout, especially if they’re scarce in your part of the country. I’ve only briefly pickled the samphire for about 15-30 minutes, as it tends to go an unappealing shade of brown if you give it a long pickle, and it also keeps its freshness if it’s done quickly.
A handful of samphire with the woody stalks removed
3tbsp-4 tbsp cider vinegar or enough to just cover the samphire
A few turns of black pepper
200g of very fresh sea-trout fillet with the pin bones and skin removed
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Put the samphire in a bowl, cover with the vinegar and leave for about 15-20 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, cut the sea trout with a very sharp carving knife into thin slices and arrange on serving plates. Scatter with the samphire and serve immediately.
Sea trout and summer-vegetable salad
This is delicious as a starter or as a main course, and you can add any summer vegetables you wish, such as blanched runner beans, shredded sugar snaps, mange tout, samphire and so on.
300g-400g sea-trout fillet with the skin on and the bones removed
A little vegetable or corn oil for frying
Salt and black pepper
60g-80g podded weight of broad beans, cooked
50g-60g podded weight of peas, cooked
A couple of handfuls of small, tasty salad leaves such as pea shoots, and cress, small rocket leaves
and so on
A few chives, snipped into 3cm-4cm lengths
For the dressing
½ tbsp cider vinegar
½ tsp Tewkesbury or Dijon mustard
2tbsp rapeseed oil
Season the sea-trout fillets, heat about a tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and cook the sea trout for about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on how thick the fillet is, making sure to keep it nice and pink. Transfer it to a plate and carefully remove the skin. Put the skin back in the frying pan and crisp it up on both sides on a medium heat for a few minutes, then drain it on some kitchen paper.
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together and season to taste. Toss the leaves and the vegetables together, season and arrange decoratively on serving plates. Break the sea trout into chunks and arrange among the leaves, then break or cut the crisp skin into pieces and scatter on top of the salad with the chives.
Mark Hix’s new book, ‘Hix Oyster & Chop House’, is published by Quadrille at £25