Dear Me

Summer Trout Salad Recipe

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Dear Me

Summer Trout Salad Recipe

A wholesome, light delight for the sunny season

While the frosty days of winter call for hearty, heavy stews, the approach of warmer weather lends itself to somewhat lighter, healthier dishes that are not only refreshing but also ideal for keeping the body beach-ready. With the spirit of summer in mind, Vanessa Marx, head chef at Cape Town city centre gourmet brasserie Dear Me – an eatery renowned for dishing up wholesome, seasonal, ethically-sourced fare – has kindly taken the time to share a recipe for a delicious raw trout salad that is both fresh and packed with nutrients. 

“I love raw ingredients and foods that leave you feeling good,” says the esteemed cook, explaining her recipe choice. “I’m also a type 1 diabetic, so have always been interested in the effects certain ingredients have on the body.”

And the nutritious effects of this particular dish are aplenty. Not only are the various elements high in fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats, but, Vanessa assures, they are also rich in the essential minerals and vitamins that help to support vascular and respiratory health and that aid in the prevention of cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

She recommends the salad is served as either a starter or a lean summer lunch, and suggests that it would go down especially well paired with a crisp white wine(our recommendation: a Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc).

Ingredients for Raw Trout Summer Salad with Citrus and Fennel Bulb

Serves 4

  • 400g fresh trout, raw
  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100g wild rocket
  • 2 medium courgettes (zucchinis)
  • 30g mint
  • 30g dill
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 spring onion
  • 50g sesame seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper
  • A pinch of caster sugar

Method (preparation time: 30 minutes)

Slice the trout fillet on a slight diagonal into paper-thin slivers that are approximately 3mm thick. Lay them out on a plate or platter and cover with cling film; refrigerate. Shave the fennel bulb as finely as possible using a mandoline, or by hand; start slicing from the stem part and work towards the end of the bulb. Zest and juice the lemon and orange, and mix the zest, juice and olive oil together. Season the mix with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity. Cut the tips from the raw courgettes, and, using a peeler, shave down the length of each. Repeat to shave the whole courgette, so as to make long, thin ribbons. Roughly chop the mint and dill, and slice up the spring onion. In a big bowl, mix the shaved fennel bulb, courgette, spring onion, mint and dill, and dress with the citrus mixture; leave to marinate for about 15 minutes. Place a dry frying pan onto a medium heat and toast the sesame seeds, tossing them lightly until golden brown; set aside to cool. Cut the avocado in half, removing the pip in the centre. Remove the skin and cut into 1-cm chunks. Take the trout out of the fridge, unwrap and season with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pile the fennel and courgette mixture in the centre of the platter on top of the trout, leaving some trout exposed around the edges. Top it with the avocado chunks, and then the wild rocket. Pour the excess citrus dressing from the fennel mix over the entire salad. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over and serve.

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Yearning for nutritious food but don’t have the desire (or the time) to prepare anything?  Have a gander at our overview of top healthy eateries in Cape Town

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