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Walnut & Herb Crusted Par-Smoked Trout Cutlets

Walnut & Herb Crusted Par-Smoked Trout Cutlets

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This is a brilliantly versatile recipe that you could easily do with fresh salmon, cod or mackerel cutlets. The watercress tartare is crunchy, herby and creamy. A taste sensation. Serves 4


For the watercress tartare sauce

  • 300ml (½ pint) bought mayonnaise
  • 55g (2 oz) watercress leaves, blanched, squeezed dry and very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped gherkins

For the trout crust

  • 1 tablespoon mixed red, green and white dry peppercorns
  • 4 x 110g(4 oz) par-smoked trout fillets, with skin
  • 125g (4½ oz) granary breadcrumbs
  • 75g (3 oz) shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, coriander, chives)
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • freshly ground nutmeg
  • 125g (4 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • extra watercress and lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to Fan 180°C / 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
  2. First make the tartare sauce by beating the watercress into the mayonnaise then folding in all the remaining ingredients. Taste, season and chill until needed.
  3. Pound the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Rub this mixture all over the flesh side of the cutlets. Then lay them skin-side down in a baking dish.
  4. Mix the breadcrumbs with the walnuts, herbs, orange zest, and lots of nutmeg.
  5. Melt the butter in the frying pan, and when foaming, stir in the breadcrumb mixture. Cook over a high heat until the butter is absorbed and the breadcrumbs are just beginning to toast and brown. Season well.
  6. Brush the peppered cutlets with egg yolk and press on the walnut and breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the fish is opaque and the crumbs crisp. Serve with the watercress tartare sauce and lemon wedges.