Sometimes simple is best, and this is very simple indeed. If you like smoking your own trout, this is a perfect way to serve it.
Smoked trout with fresh horseradish cream and warm beetroot salad
Serves 4 as a starter
Sometimes simple is best, and this is very simple indeed. If you like smoking your own trout, this is a perfect way to serve it. If not, you can buy good smoked trout from a supermarket or get it online from the excellent Black Mountain Smokery. The fresh horseradish is key. The bought stuff just isn’t the same, so beg, borrow or steal a root if you can. It may make your eyes water while preparing it, but the taste when mixed with the trout is worth every moment.
■ 4 fresh beetroot roots (or bought ready prepared but must not be vinegared)
■ Good virgin olive oil
■ Flaked Maldon sea salt and black pepper
■ 1 bunch chives, chopped finely
■ 1 small horseradish root, peeled and finely grated
■ 1 small pot crème fraîche
■ Fresh lemon juice
■ 4 hot-smoked trout fillets
First, cook the beetroot.
If it still has leaves attached, cut these off about 5cm (2in) from the top of the root; leave the long “root tail” on. If dirty, wash them gently; usually I don’t bother. Just wrap the whole caboodle lightly in foil, lay in a baking dish and put into a moderate oven (200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6) for 1-1½ hours, or until tender right through when pierced with a knife.
Leave until you can handle safely without burning your hands, then top and tail each beet, slip them out of their skins, chop into cubes and set aside in a warm place.
Just before serving, mix with the olive oil, Maldon sea salt and black pepper, and chopped chives.
Mix the horseradish with about half the crème fraîche, some black pepper, a good pinch of salt and a good tablespoonful of lemon juice.
Lay each trout fillet on a plate with a generous spoonful of the horseradish cream and another of the warm beetroot salad.