Hot-smoked trout with roasted beetroot and watercress

Hot-smoked trout with roasted beetroot and watercress

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
500g baby beetroot
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for roasting
30g skinned hazelnuts
2 teaspoons small capers, (optional)
oil, for deep-frying (optional)
150g fine green beans
1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons water
fresh horseradish root or creamed horseradish, to taste
large bunch watercress
6 hot-smoked trout fillets
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Wash the beetroot, cut off the tops, leaving about 1 cm still attached, and trim the root. Place in a bowl and toss in enough olive oil to coat and season generously with salt and pepper. Tip into a roasting tin lined with foil and roast in the oven for 45–60 minutes, or until tender (check with the point of a cutlery knife). Leave to cool a little, then slip the skins off with your fingers; they are easier to peel from the root end to the stalk. Cut into halves or even-sized pieces, depending on size. Set aside.
  2. While the beetroot are roasting, place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5–10 minutes until golden. Tip onto a board, leave to cool, then coarsely chop. If serving capers, heat a 3 cm depth of oil in a small saucepan to 190°C, or until a piece of bread browns in 40 seconds. Deep-fry the capers for a minute or two until crisp, then remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Top the green beans and blanch them in boiling salted water for 3–5 minutes until tender, then refresh in cold water. Once cool, lift out and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the ½ lemon. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and stir in the 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Peel some of the horseradish root and grate finely into the mayonnaise. (Start with ½ tablespoon, taste the mixture and add more if required.) Add more lemon juice, some lemon zest, to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Add a little more water or lemon juice if the dressing is too thick, then set aside.
  5. Pick the watercress leaves from the stalks; wash and dry, then place in a bowl. Toss with the 1 tablespoon oil and a sprinkle of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide the dressed watercress between 4 plates. Arrange the warm roast beetroot and the beans over the watercress. Flake the smoked trout into large pieces over the top and sprinkle over the hazelnuts and deep-fried capers, if using. Drizzle with the horseradish sauce and serve at once.
Leiths School of food and wine
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