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    Marianna Leivaditaki’s marinated trout with shaved asparagus

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    Marianna Leivaditaki’s marinated trout with shaved asparagus

    Fenugreek is my favourite spice and I’ve used it here to marinate the fish. The clean, earthy flavour and silky texture of the asparagus together with the salty, spicy fish makes a heavenly combination.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes + marinating
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes + marinating

    Serves: 4


    2 x 265g packs trout fillets
    2 x 230g packs asparagus
    3 tbsp early harvest olive oil, plus extra to serve
    Thickly sliced bread, to serve
    Lemon wedges, to serve

    Spice mix
    1 Romano pepper (about 200g)
    1 tsp fenugreek seeds
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    50g sun-dried tomatoes, drained
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp caster sugar


    1. Preheat the grill to high. Start by making the spice mix. Put the pepper on a baking tray; grill for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway, until charred all over. Put it in a lidded container for a few minutes to help release the skin.

    2. Meanwhile, toast the fenugreek and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a low heat until fragrant, then tip into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Peel away the pepper’s skin and discard with the seeds and stem. Put the pepper flesh in a blender with the tomatoes, toasted spices and remaining spice mix ingredients; whizz to make a paste. Rub the paste generously over the trout, then put on a plate, cover and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

    3. When ready to cook, carefully use the back of a knife to remove most of the marinade from the flesh and skin of the trout (the flavour will have already penetrated through). Dab the fish dry with kitchen paper. 

    4. Slice the asparagus diagonally into 2cm pieces. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil followed by the asparagus. Season and fry for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally (the asparagus should have some colour but still be crunchy). Tip onto a plate. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and, when hot, add the fish skin-side down. Cook for 2 minutes, flip and do the same on the other side, until cooked through and opaque. Serve the fish with the asparagus and bread, plus a squeeze of lemon juice and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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