This is a simple and delicious starter which you can really use any type of fish when making it so it is super versatile. The zesty, freshness of the beetroot and fennel salad really cuts the richness of the buttery, pan fried fish. Best eaten al fresco on a warm summer’s evening.
500g baby beetroot, trimmed and washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 trout fillets
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large fennel, with fronds, finely sliced 2 lemons, each cut into 4 wedges
For the dressing
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Beetroot and Fennel Salad
Preheat the oven to 160oC. Place the beetroots on a large piece of tin foil, drizzle the olive oil over and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil over to enclose in a parcel and roast for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a knife. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by simply whisking the olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper together in a large bowl and set aside. Once cooked, peel and halve the beetroots and set aside.
Just before serving, cook the trout. Use two large frying pans to ensure all the fish is cooked and ready at the same time. Divide the butter between two large frying pans and melt over a medium heat. Gently fry the trout, flesh side down first, for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
Toss the fennel through the dressing, reserving the fronds for now. Don’t toss the beetroot otherwise it will stain the fennel. Arrange the fennel in the centre of each serving plate and scatter the beetroot on top. Drizzle any remaining dressing over and then carefully lay a trout fillet, flesh side up, on top. Roughly tear the fennel fronds over and serve with a wedge of lemon.