Epirus

Trout with lentils and mustard

One of the most flavorful freshwater fish, cooked in a pouch.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Trout with lentils and mustard
Before cooking...

The ever-popular trout is one of the most widely consumed freshwater fish. In Epirus, trouts are the usual residents of the crystal clear river and lake waters, akin to an age-long gift of nature to the people of the mainland. Gladly accepting that gift for generations, the Epirotes learned how to fish and cook the trout to feed their families. With time, they also learned to smoke them to preserve their savory meat for a rainy day.

Trout with lentils and mustard

Ingredients

Today, the trout is widely farmed, and you can find it fresh or frozen any time of the year. You can also find pre-cut trout fillets, which is just what you need for this recipe.

For the trout:

  • 2 trout fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • A bit of finocchio, finely chopped
  • A bit of dill
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon (or citrus)
  • Salt (to preference)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to preference)

For the lentils:

  • 1 cup of fine lentils, boiled
  • ½ cup of quinoa, boiled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper
  • A bit of finocchio, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • A few pomegranate grains
  • A bit of corn, boiled
  • A bit of dill
  • A bit of parsley

For the dressing:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Juice from ½ orange
  • Salt (to preference)

Execution

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the ingredients for the dressing (olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, orange juice, salt) until mixed.
  2. Separately boil the lentils, the quinoa, and the corn in water. When done, keep them aside to cool.
  3. Set the oven to “upper and lower heat” and preheat it to 200 °C.
  4. Place one of the trout fillets on a sheet of parchment paper with the skin on the bottom. Sprinkle with half of the ingredients for the trout (olive oil, finocchio, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper). Close the parchment paper forming a pouch. Repeat with the remaining trout fillet. Place the pouches on a baking pan.
  5. Place the pan on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the ingredients for the side dish (lentils, quinoa, corn, olive oil, finely chopped scallions, finely chopped finocchio, grated carrots, pomegranate grains, dill, parsley).
  7. Pour the dressing over the lentil mix and toss gently.
  8. Serve the trout fillets hot with some fresh lentil salad on the side.

Cooked in a pouch (or en papillote, as the French call it), the freshwater trout maintains all its unique flavors and aromas, taking us on a sensory trip to the virgin riverbanks of the Epirus mountains.

After cooking…

The Louros River begins its journey from Mount Tomaros, in the Ioannina region, and travels 80 km before pouring into the Amvrakikos Gulf near Preveza. Its crystal clear waters and verdant banks create an invaluable natural habitat for many local species of flora and fauna. Among them is a native trout which is unique in the world, and wreckless human activity has brought it to the brink of endangerment.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking…