I had 4 trout in the freezer which I kept forgetting to defrost – until yesterday! I took them out in the morning so dinner was more planned than usual; I had to cook fish. By evening I felt like doing something easy. Roasting is a great way to coax flavor out of foods with not too much effort, so that was the plan…..slice up a few veggies, lop the heads off the fish and bung it all into the oven and let the heat do the rest! I always forget how sumptuous roasted vegetables taste. I purposefully used some root vegetables in the dish as they always become sweet and syrupy. I was not going to bother with any kind of sauce so I made sure to use something that would also add a little moisture, like mushrooms & bacon. There was a manic moment of chopping but beside that, I really didn’t do very much. A great thing to cook if you are feeling lazy or if you have people over – less time cooking, more time chatting (and drinking!)
You will need: 4 whole trout (I buy them with heads on and gutted – much cheaper. You can freeze the heads for later use for stock or fish Head Soup, or, throw away if it freaks you out) 6 slices of bacon, 6 – 8 garlic cloves, 1 large sweet onion (or white onion), 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, 8 oz white mushrooms, 2 medium parsnips, 16 baby white or red (or mix of both) potatoes. 4 sprigs fresh thyme, 5 tbs olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp sea-salt or course salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 lemon.
Preheat oven 450*
Get vegetables prepared: quarter potatoes and mushrooms, dice onions (big dice), slice baby carrots lengthways (if they are fat slice into 4 lengths – I had to do this with some of mine), separate garlic cloves and leave skin on, peel and slice parsnips into rounds. Slice bacon into 1″ pieces.
Put all the vegetables, thyme & bacon into a big bowl and toss in 3 tbs olive oil. Mix everything together. Add salt and some grinds of black pepper and mix again
Put 2 tbs of olive oil on big roasting pan or baking sheet (I used a big shallow baking sheet) and place in middle of hot oven. Time for 3 minutes or so and take out when starting to smoke (don’t be alarmed!). Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the sheet. Place in oven and time for 30 minutes. In the meantime; wash and dry the trout and season with salt and pepper and rub with a little olive oil.
When vegetables have cooked for 30 minutes take out sheet carefully and toss them about to turn. Slide the vegetables over to one half of the sheet and lay the fish next to them on the other half. Place in oven and cook for another 15 or so minutes. Take out and serve – that simple!
You can add a drizzle of extra virgin oil over the dish or even make a little mixture of balsamic and oil and drizzle a little over everything. Also, a lemon wedge for the fish is a must!