Recipe 17 – A Valentine Special from Valentine Warner (seared trout fillets with mustard lentils)

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s night than to enjoy a sizzling night of indulgent trout cuisine accompanied by carefully selected Chablis?

Valentine trout Valentine original

And by perfect harmony this recipe comes to us from Valentine Warner himself, crafted and created for the British Trout Association and one of the flagship recipes of the Buy British Trout campaign, a movement close to our hearts and gaining an increased momentum with each new twist and turn of the horse meat debacle.  (See for more delicious recipes and some of the many reasons why we love being part of British trout production.)

Buy British Trout


2 trout fillets (British naturally)
2 bunches of cherry tomatoes, still attached to vine
50g lentils (original recipe uses green, I used red and it was perfect)
2 shallots
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
2 cloves of garlic
120ml white wine
400ml fish stock
Flour, salt and pepper, olive oil, butter

And for the sauce:

Diijon and wholegrain mustard
Parsley, tarragon, thyme
50ml double cream

A word on lentils

For anyone squeamish about lentils take heart.  Olly’s default position is lentil adverse but he gave this recipe 10/10.  The combination of the fish stock and mustard flavouring transform the lentils into a sophisticated complimentary backdrop to the natural flavours of the trout, a sublime combination.

Valentine trout lentil heart


Simmer the lentils until soft but not mushy, drain and leave to one side.

Finely dice (and don’t be tempted to use a processor, you want defined individual pieces) the shallots, carrot and celery.

Valentine trout diced vegetable heart

Add the wine and allow to reduce until virtually evaporated then add the fish stock and reduce until only 3-4 tablespoons remaining.  Add the drained lentils, a generous tsp of each of the mustards and cream. 

Valentine trout simmered diced vegetables

Chop the parsley, tarragon and thyme and add to the lentil, mustard, and cream mixture.

Valentine trout enjoying the process

Valentine trout adding herbs

Stir, season to taste and leave to one side.  Remember to pre-heat your plates to ensure the lentil base remains piping hot once served.Place your two bunches of cherry tomatoes in a small baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake in a hot oven for 15-25mins until the skins are withered and beginning to brown, timing this so that your tomatoes come out of the oven just before you are ready to serve.valentine trout cherry tomatoes

Now for your trout fillets. 

If using trout fillets from a large trout then you may want to divide your fillet into smaller fillet sections.

Olly preparing trout fillet steaks

delicious British trout

 Mix the flour with salt and pepper on a plate and lower the trout fillets skin side down making sure the skins get a decent coating. 

Olly preparing delicious trout 

Heat approx 25g of butter with olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and just before the butter begins to bubble add the trout fillets skin side down, applying pressure with a plate or wooden spoon to ensure the skin crisps. 

Watch the delicate pink slowly rise up through the richer pink indicating the transition from raw trout to cooked trout and, when you estimate the fillet is nearly cooked through, flip the fillet and cook skin-side up for a further 30 seconds.

sharas valentine trout ready to go

Once the trout is ready, re-heat the lentils and spoon into the centre of the pre-heated plates forming a bed for the cherry tomatoes which you add next, still attached to the stalks.

Finally add the trout fillets – skin side up for maximum effect –  and serve with a chilled dry white wine such as this delicious Chablis.

carefully selected Chablis

As you will hopefully be able to glean from the slightly fuzzy photograph above this is one of the more impressive looking of our trout blog recipes and an absolute winner if you want to achieve that presentation wow factor. (I did forget to serve the fillets skin side up which was a pity but as Olly hadn’t seen Valentine’s original photo I think I got away with it.)

But finally, and most importantly, this is a delicious and incredibly original recipe in its flavours and textures, and one that is absolutely befitting the great British Trout.


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