Trout - In Season

TroutGeorgina Campbell

With the mayfly hatching this month, it’s peak season for trout. Closely related to salmon and Arctic char, the name trout actually covers a number of fish including the prized sea trout (a large salmon-like migratory form of river trout), brown trout and rainbow trout.

Most trout spend their entire lives in freshwater lakes and rivers, while others may spend several years in coastal sea water before returning to fresh water to spawn, in a similar way to salmon; a rainbow trout doing this is called a steelhead.

Of the smaller fish, the wild brown (river or lake) trout is a dark-skinned spotted fish and highly sought after for its superior eating qualities.

However, while the texture and flavour of brown trout are recognised as being particularly fine, the cooking methods are the same for all types with pan frying, grilling, oven baking and poaching all suitable, depending on size.

Today, the rainbow trout is known mainly as a farmed fish - the best known Irish example is the excellent Kilkenny producer Goatsbridge Trout Farm ( at Thomastown, which is open to visitors and whose products are widely available. They also hold classes.

For information on fishing in Ireland visit


Baked Trout with HerbsRECIPE: Baked Trout with Herbs

This recipe from our book From Tide To Table is a very healthy and simple dish equally suited to wild or farmed trout. Perfect for a summer evening - when the trout could be cooked on the barbecue - this oven method really helps to keep the fish moist.


4 tsp olive oil plus extra for oiling
4 x whole rainbow trout, gutted and cleaned
4 tbsp white wine
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp each chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, chives, dill and basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

beetroot chutney and warm potato salad

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5. Lightly oil an ovenproof dish that nicely fits the size of the trout. Add the trout and then drizzle over the white wine and lemon juice. Season to taste and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the trout are completely tender.

Remove the trout from the oven and transfer to serving plates. Mix the olive oil and herbs with the remaining juices in the dish and drizzle over the trout. Add a dollop of the beetroot chutney and serve with small bowls of the warm potato salad on the side.

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