If you want your friends to think you can cook – but you can’t – this is a hugely impressive meal. Stress-free, massively tasty, and it looks amazing too. It takes no time at all but your guests will think you’ve spent the whole day in the kitchen. This will serve 6 – adjust accordingly.
Some of the ingredients for the tapenade – such as capers, olives, and green peppercorns – will set you back a little, but they’ll make a nice addition to the storecupboard, can be used in a variety of recipes, and are worth buying for this fancy dish alone.
Lidl’s olives and capers will do fine as they mix in with the other flavours. In fact, you’ll get most of the ingredients in Lidl except green peppercorns in brine (these can be hard to find but I’ve always managed to get them in Tesco), trout and rocket. The most expensive part is the trout.
Tapenade only takes a few minutes to prepare; I always do it well in advance. The best thing about this tapenade is that it will keep for up to five days in a sterilised jar and can be used as a sandwich spread or a dip for meats. It also makes a great edible gift.
Sun-dried tomato tapenade
I’m giving precise measurements, but I usually make this tapenade up as I go along, adding and taking away as necessary.
- 60z (175g) of black olives (Lidl)
- 6oz (175g) 10oz (275g) sundried tomatoes (I buy these in Lidl)
- A big handful of fresh basil
- 2 big cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon green peppercorns in brine (if you can’t find them, lots of freshly crushed peppercorns will do)
- Anchovy fillets (optional)
- 3 heaped tablespoons capers
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil or oil from the sundried tomatoes
- Freshly milled black pepper
- 4-5 large or 7-8 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 large floury potatoes
- 6 fresh fillets of sea trout
- 2 bags of rocket leaves
- Blend all the tapenade ingredients in food processor. Don’t overblend them though, the paste should be coarse. Remember: make your life easier by making it in advance
The rest of this meal is so simple:
- Peel the sweet and regular potatoes, chop, and place in seperate pots or bowls water.
- Boil the potatoes for about 5 minutes. Then add the sweet potato and cook both for about another 10 minutes, or until tender. When they feel tender with a fork or knife, they’re done. Don’t worry if they’re ready before the trout, just drain them and leave the lid on for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the trout fillets, skin side down, under a hot grill for about 12 minutes, turning skin-side up after about 8 minutes. The skin should be crispy and bubbling (I prefer to grill it because pan-fried trout stinks the house, but about 25 mins in the oven on a high heat will work too).
- Put some plates into a warmed oven. This will keep the food warm while you serve it.
Ok, we’re almost ready:
- Mash the sweet potato and potato together with plenty of butter and milk, and some salt and pepper.
- Gently heat the tapenade for about 30 seconds in a pot.
The last part – assembly – is the most difficult – but it’s not hard:
- Spoon generous amounts of mash onto the heated plates
- Cover with a generous portion of rocket leaves
- Place trout fillets, skin side up, on top of the rocket leaves
- Top with the tapenade.