Trout with crumbs and summer herbs

Nigel Slater shares his recipe for this light and healthy fish dish, enriched with tarragon, dill and parsley.


Serves 2

4 large fillets of fresh trout
4 large handfuls of fresh (ish) white bread
8 anchovy fillets
Small bunch of tarragon
6 sprigs of parsley
4 bushy sprigs of dill
1 egg
A little flour
Oil and a thin slice of butter for frying


Achieving the perfect results

  1. Lay the fish skin side down on a chopping board. Tear the bread into chunks and reduce it to fine, soft crumbs in a food processor.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the anchovies then chop them finely.
  3. Pull the leaves from the tarragon and parsley stalks, chop them roughly then stir them, together with the chopped dill into the breadcrumbs with the anchovies and a generous grinding of salt and black pepper.
  4. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl or deep plate and beat it lightly with a fork.
  5. Put a thick layer of flour in another bowl, then put the seasoned breadcrumbs in a third.
  6. Dip the fish first into the flour, then into the egg and then, finally, the breadcrumbs. Pat the crumbs on both sides of the fish until each fillet is coated with a deep layer of herbed crumbs.
  7. Warm the oil and butter in a shallow pan. May I suggest you make it a non-stick one? When the oil starts to sizzle, lower in the fish, leaving it to cook at an enthusiastic bubble until the underside is golden. You may have to do this in two lots depending on the size of your pan. Carefully turn the fish and cook the other side. It will need about three or four minutes per side depending on the thickness of your fish. Test it by gently breaking off a piece.
  8. Drain on kitchen paper briefly before serving, perhaps with a simple lettuce salad.

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