TC Recipe: Smoked Trout and Fennel Salad

May 15 2011

By Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny
Suggested Pairing: 2008 Eola-Amity Hills Roserock Vineyard Pinot Noir
Serves 2


I found the Roserock Pinot Noir to be soft and pleasing. The nose imparts blueberry jam, smoke, and cotton candy. This wine would easily be overpowered by too heavy a dish. I decided to keep it simple and fresh. The smoke on a mild, oily fish makes this preparation an excellent pairing. The fennel adds a crispy, anise freshness. I included watercress in the recipe but arugula would work just as well. The peppery greens accent the sweeter jam flavor of the wine.

If you do not have access to a smoker, contact your local fish market. A stovetop smoker is available from the cookware company Cameron. It is an affordable addition to your kitchen that makes these types of recipes very accessible.


  • 2 each trout filet, deboned
  • 2 C water
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper, fresh cracked
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thin
  • 2 each radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 C watercress
  • 1 each lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 T hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3 T olive oil


Smoking the trout: Make the brine by combining the water, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Brine the trout for 1 hour, then rinse in cool water, pat it dry, and let sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Hot smoke the trout until it reaches 140 degrees. Remove from the smoker and refrigerate until cool.

Juice the lemon into a mixing bowl. Add the Dijon mustard and olive oil and whisk to incorporate. Add the fennel, celery, radishes, watercress, and hazelnuts. Toss together. Plate the salad and top with the smoked trout. Strawberries would be a fun addition to this salad when they come into season. Enjoy.