Smoked trout and fennel salad is simple, refreshing and full of herby flavour. It makes a wonderful light lunch yet is impressive enough to serve at a dinner party.
This is another one of my great entertaining salads that I love to make in advance and chill in the fridge (sans the avocado of course) until I am ready to serve. Great as an appetizer or wonderful to serve at an elegant lunch and it just has such gorgeous flavour that everyone raves about every time I serve it.
Table of contents
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is a simple salad that only requires a handful of ingredients so it is important to choose them wisely.
Smoked trout - found in vacuum-sealed packs at the supermarket or fishmonger. You can really use any smoked fish that takes your fancy try hot smoked salmon, mackerel or herring. At a pinch, you can use some cold smoked salmon or trout cut into strips.
Fennel - we have used two medium-sized bulbs for their wonderful licquoricey flavour. Replace with some shredded wombok/Napa cabbage instead, just add a teaspoon or two of fennel seeds or a pinch of ground star anise to mimic its flavour.
Avocado - for its healthy fat content that also boosts the satiety of this salad, keeping you fuller for longer ?.
Dill and fennel fronds - to add some bright green colour and again for its anise-like flavour. You can replace it with some parsley if you prefer but you will lose out on flavour. Add some fennel seeds or ground star anise if you choose to use parsley.
You Will Need
How to Make It
1PREPARE THE TROUT
Peel the skin from the trout, then remove the head and tail. Slit it open and remove the middle fishbone and other bones.
Flake into large bite-sized pieces, keeping an eye out for any finer bones you come across and be careful to remove all the bones you can find.
2CUT FENNEL & HERBS
Snip of off the fennel fronds from your bulbs (if your fennel does not have many fronds, don’t worry too much just chop up some extra dill).
Wash the fennel fronds and dill, shake dry and chop finely.
Wash the fennel, cut off the base, hard fennel core and any damaged parts. Shred finely, either using a mandoline/v-slicer or with a sharp knife.
Keep in a water bath if you are not going to make up this salad immediately to prevent it from discolouring.
Wash avocado, remove the pit and peel. Place each avocado half face down on your chopping board and thinly slice vertically.
Place all the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl, season and mix well to combine.
Arrange in a salad bowl and fan the avocado on top of the salad to garnish, finish with a sprig of dill and serve.
This salad makes a wonderful light lunch or dinner served with some fresh crusty bread. Its great to serve as part of a seafood banquet or as part of a buffet. Try it with...
Tips & Questions
The Difference Between Hot and Cold Smoked Fish
Cold smoked fish is cured in salt to draw out the moisture for several days, this is called dry-cure.
It remains “raw” as it is cold smoked in temperatures below 4.5°C/80°F. It has more of a fresh subtle smoky flavour than hot smoked fish and a silky texture.
You will find this style of fish in flat vacuum-sealed packs, sliced and lying on a tray.
Hot smoked fish on the other hand is cured in a saltwater brine and then smoked in higher temperatures 50°C/120°F.
It has more of a cooked and a much more intense smoky flavour and a texture that you can flake. You will find it whole in vacuum-sealed packs.
Can I Make This Salad Ahead?
- You can clean and flake the trout a day or two in advance. Make sure you keep it in a tightly sealed container in the coldest part of your fridge, as it smells very fishy.
- For the fennel, I would place it in a bowl and fill it with cold water as it discolours easily and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- For the herbs make sure that they are completely dry before chopping them up otherwise they will spoil, keep them covered in the fridge.
- The vinaigrette can be made several days in advance and kept in an air tight container in the fridge.
- The salad can be assembled an hour or two before serving, however, slice and fan the avocado just before serving to prevent browning.
What About The Leftovers?
- This salad can still be enjoyed a day or two after you makeup, the fennel will take on a wonderfully pickle like flavour.
- Keep it in a sealed container in a cold part of the fridge. Make sure you eat up all the avocado before storing as it browns and will not keep well.
- I have also chopped up the fennel and tossed it through some hot pasta with cream and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a quick hot lunch.
- You can try it as a filling for wraps and sandwiches, just make sure you drain it well.
More Fishy Salad Recipes to Try
- 600 grams fennel (approximately 2 fennel bulbs, 21 oz)
- 360 grams hot smoked trout (1 pack approximately 13 oz)
- ⅓ cup dill chopped
- ¼ cup fennel fronds chopped
- 300 grams avocado (approximately 1 large, 11 oz)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- +2 tbsps olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- +1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Peel the skin from the trout, then remove the head and tail. Open it up and remove the middle fish bone and other bones.
- Flake into large bite sized pieces, keeping an eye out for any finer bones that you come across and be careful to remove all the bones you can find.
- Snip of off the fennel fronds from your bulbs (if your fennel does not have many fronds, don’t worry too much just chop up some extra dill).
- Wash the fennel fronds and dill, shake dry and chop finely.
- Wash the fennel, cut off the base, hard fennel core and any damaged parts. Shred finely, either using a mandoline/v-slicer or a sharp knife.*
- Wash avocado, remove the pit and peel. Place each avocado half face down on your chopping board and thinly slice vertically.
- Place all the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl, season and mix well to combine.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and fan the avocado on top of the salad to garnish, finish with a sprig of dill and serve.