Trout with Asparagus Coulis and Asparagus, Celery & Chive Salad

I played the role of Super Shuttle this week at work, carting co-workers to LAX. It's a straight shot from work and conveniently enough it passes right by Bristol Farms. I don't shop there much, but every once in a while it's nice to pick up a few "special" items that you can't find in your typical grocery store. I got a container of morel mushrooms (score) and while perusing the seafood counter noticed that all of their seafood is "Safe Harbor Certified".  What the heck does that mean, right? Were dolphins kept safe through safe fishing methods? Maybe these fish were environmentally sustainable. I didn't have to stand there looking confused for too long (another perk of shopping at a "fancy" store) before somebody asked me if I needed help. He explained to me that the levels of mercury had been tested and are considered to be at a "safe" level. With all the recent news about the frightening levels of mercury in fish, there certainly has been a cause for concern. Especially for me, since my diet is heavily pescatarian. This put me at ease a bit and inspired me to pick up some trout fillets for dinner.

Trout fillets can be cooked quickly and have an exquisitely crisp skin. Since they have a mild, not too fishy, taste they pair well anything. I paired mine with an asparagus, celery and chive salad that was simply dressed with meyer lemon juice and olive oil. I also made an asparagus coulis to mirror the flavors in the salad. A pretty garnish never hurts either. :)

Trout Fillets with Asparagus Coulis and Asparagus, Celery & Chive Salad
1 lb of Asparagus, tips sliced thinly on a heavy diagonal, reserve the tougher stems to make the coulis
2 stalks of celery, sliced thinly on a heavy diagonal
1/4 cup of chives, cut into 1" pieces
juice from half a meyer lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 trout fillets, about 1.25 lbs
olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Have an ice bath ready. Cook the sliced asparagus tips for 30 seconds and plunge them into the ice bath so they will stop cooking and keep their vibrant green color. Strain and reserve. Have another ice bath ready. Boil the bottom half of the asparagus stalks for about 60 seconds. Plunge them into your second ice bath. Strain and puree in a food processor. Next pass the asparagus puree through your tamis and season with salt and pepper. There's your coulis. In a medium bowl, mix together your blanch asparagus tips, celery and chives. In order to keep everything crisp, wait until the last second to dress.
Heat a pan to hot heat (cast iron if you have it). Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Put fish in pan skin side (presentation side) down first. This should take a few minutes before the skin is crispy and brown. Turn the heat down to medium high and flip the fillets. A fish spatula is a really great kitchen tool to have for this. Flat and flexible, yet sturdy. It's nice and slotted so that you can drain any excess oil from the fish. After a few more minutes, transfer the fillets to a plate. Tent with foil and repeat this procedure until all fillets are cooked. Drizzle salad with meyer lemon juice, olive oil and salt & pepper. Serve fish on top of a mound of salad and a smear of the coulis. Finish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

Serves 4


  • Purplesque

    16 Feb 2008 02:02 pm

    [this is good] That looks absolutely gorgeous.

    And I don’t even eat fish.

  • lilythelily

    16 Feb 2008 06:02 pm

    [this is good] What a great chef you are!

  • Laurel

    16 Feb 2008 09:02 pm

    [this is good] Beautiful shots!

  • Selera

    16 Feb 2008 10:02 pm

    ohhh that looks yummie!!

  • Michael Chung

    17 Feb 2008 12:02 am

    [this is good]

    nice shot!!

    looks yummy!!


  • Food Rockz Man

    18 Feb 2008 07:02 am

    Another beautiful creation!  I wish I lived on the West Coast . . . so I could invite myself over for dinner . . . as I’m sure this tastes at least as great as it looks.

  • Yeehaw Murghi

    21 Feb 2008 07:02 pm

    [this is good] That is absolutely beautiful (as is of course, your food blog — and in particular, your photography). Didya know there’s a grand coulee in Canada — a grand canyon? Being a nerd, I like to learn about the history of foods (and being a nerd, I like to tell people about things like that — whether they like it or not, but hey, that’s wut blogs are for (or so I reckon)), and apparently coulie sauces were quite the thing in French cuisine. But then they got all caught up going to war, and people didn’t have much food left — even the aristocracy. So it was deemed wasteful to destroy vegetables to create a sauce. And so (or so the story goes) the classic sauces became the thing to use — based on old bones and mirepoix.  
    Err, I’m sure I’ve said too much :). Beautiful pictures.

  • julie

    23 Feb 2008 09:02 am

    I love learning new food facts. Thanks, Yeehaw!:)

  • Mr.

    01 Mar 2008 06:03 am

    Thank you for the recipe. Wonderfully simple and doable, and with great pictures to boot.



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