Daily Flavor

Trout recipe

Fish bathed in butter

Whole-cooked trout stuffed with fresh tarragon and lemon gets a bath in decadent hazelnut brown butter sauce for an impressive meal.

Don't be intimidated by cooking a whole fish. It's easier than you think, especially if you have your fishmonger do all the scaling and cleaning for you. Just make sure that none of your guests are the squeamish type. If they are, remove the head before serving.

Tarragon-stuffed trout with hazelnut brown butter recipe

Serves 2-4 


  • 1-2 whole trout (about 1 pound each), scaled and cleaned
  • Sea salt
  • Sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Hazelnut brown butter sauce (see recipe below) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Season the inside and outside of the fish with sea salt. Stuff the cavity with a few sprigs of fresh tarragon and a few lemon slices.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the trout and scatter a few more lemon slices around the pan. Cook the fish for 3 minutes until the underside is lightly browned. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Place the skillet in the oven for 6 to 7 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
  4. Place the cooked trout on a serving platter with the charred lemon slices. Drizzle with hazelnut brown butter, being sure to spoon the chopped hazelnuts on top.


Fresh tarragon has a strong anise flavor. If you prefer a subtler herb, substitute fresh thyme or rosemary instead.

Hazelnut brown butter recipe

Makes enough for 2 fish


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 8-10 minutes, until lightly colored and the skins are blistered.
  3. Wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel. Rub the nuts around in the towel to loosen the skins. Do this until most of the skin is off. (Some bits will remain.) Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside.
  4. Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add the butter, whisking frequently. The butter will foam, then start to brown and release a nutty aroma within minutes. When it turns amber, remove from the heat and place on a cool surface to prevent the butter from burning.
  5. When cooled a bit, add the chopped hazelnuts and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

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