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Tuki Springs Trout, Istra Pancetta, Mt Franklin Organic and Heirloom Vegetables Provencale

Dish up this tasty trout meal by Alla Wolfe Tasker, from series 3 of Mercurio's Menu.


  • 2 fresh trout approx 400gms each

  • 150mls quality pesto – preferably home made

  • 120-150gms pancetta sliced paper thin onto 2 sheets of greaseproof paper

  • Vegetable oil, salt and pepper

  • 250gms heirloom tomatoes

  • 150gms baby green beans

  • 1 small -medium eggplant sliced longitudinally into eights or twelfths

  • 4 large basil leaves

  • Olive cheeks sliced from 12 large olives

  • 12 caper berries

  • Miniature basil shoots

  • Nasturtium leaves, petals and buds

  • Chive buds and flowers

  • A dressing made from olive oil and lemon juice in the ratio of 3:1,well seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Fish:

  • 1.

    Remove head from trout and bone out leaving fish intact. Or have your fishmonger bone out the fish. Pin bone any remaining.

  • 2.

    Season inside of trout and spread evenly with pesto

  • 3.

    Place seasoned trout onto pancetta lined paper. Draw pancetta slices up to completely wrap the fish. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate

  • Vegetables:

  • 1.

    Salt eggplant slices and leave in a colander to drain for 15 mins. Rinse briefly and pat dry. Pan fry or grill eggplant and set aside.

  • 2.

    Trim beans as required. Blanch in plenty of salted boiling water, refresh, drain, set aside.

  • 3.

    Cut heirloom tomatoes into seeded ‘petals , wedges or leave whole if small

  • 4.

    To assemble Pre heat the oven to 190C

  • 5.

    Film the base of a large ovenproof frypan with vegetable oil and place over high heat.

  • 6.

    Remove trout from plastic wrap and place into hot pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until pancetta is crisp and well coloured. Using a lifter and tongs take care when turning the fish not to unravel the pancetta.

  • 7.

    Place the fry pan in the oven for 5 minutes.

  • 8.

    Meanwhile pour a couple of tblsps olive oil into a non stick wok. Place on medium heat. Take basil leaves and form into a roll . Slice into fine chiffonade. When oil in wok is hot, add eggplant, beans, tomatoes capers, olives and basil. Toss to warm through. Season well and remove from heat.

  • 9.

    Carefully transfer trout onto cutting board and cut across into even 4 – 5cm slices.

  • 10.

    Spoon vegetables out onto serving plate. Garnish with shoots, leaves and petals.

  • 11.

    Place trout slices over vegetables. Generously dress the platter with olive oil and lemon juice dressing and serve.

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