Embrace the ingredients of the season with Philippa Davis' roast whole trout with brown buttered almonds and nettle, spinach and nutmeg gratin

No-one hopes for a nettle glut, but if you have had one unintentionally embrace the best of seasonal produce and get them into the kitchen. Philippa Davis’ roast whole trout with brown buttered almonds and nettle, spinach and nutmeg gratin is an impressive spring supper. Always cook or crush nettles before serving, to ensure they have lost their sting.

For more seasonal trout recipes, try our shakshuka with trout and asparagus for a wonderfully versatile dish that can be served for brunch, lunch or light supper.


When picking nettles to eat it is best just to take the young tender top tips and wash them well before use.

Serves 2

Nettle, spinach and nutmeg gratin

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g nettles
  • 200g spinach

Cream sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • ½ nutmeg, grated

Roast trout

  • 2 trout, cleaned
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 thin slices of lemon

Brown buttered almonds

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • ½ tsp lemon

For the nettle, spinach and nutmeg gratin, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

In a saucepan gently sauté the shallots and garlic in the olive oil and butter. Transfer to a small bowl, set to one side then give the pan a quick rinse and dry.

Wilt the spinach and nettles in the pan with a splash of water, cover with a lid. Once wilted, drain in a colander.

Wipe out the pan again and put back on a low heat to make the cream sauce.

For the cream sauce, melt the butter with the flour, whisking constantly, then slowly pour in the milk followed by the cream.

Whisk until thickened then take off the heat and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Roughly chop the spinach and nettles and add to the cream mix along with the shallots. Stir well then transfer into a dish.

Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes to heat through, then serve straight away.

For the roast trout, pre heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Divide the butter between the two cavities. Rub both fish all over in the olive oil and season.

Place on a lined, flat baking sheet and layer the lemon on top.

Bake in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked. Serve straight away.

For the brown buttered almonds, in a small pan gently heat the butter and almonds until they start to go golden. Take off the heat and add the herbs and lemon.

Serve warm with the fish.