Don't compromise on the flavour or vibrancy of your food during the summer months as we veer towards eating lighter meals, with Philippa Davis' suggestions for the best trout sauces to try


During the summer months, as the weather warms up, we tend to veer naturally towards eating lighter and fresher meals that are quick to cook. Fortunately, this does not mean you have to compromise on the flavour or vibrancy of your food.

Salads and vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked, but I always add a bright, acidic and sometimes even spicy dressing just before serving to help elevate the dish. I also find myself making a lot of punchy and bold sauces to serve with simply grilled pieces of fish or meat – as per the trout recipe below. I haven’t given you exact instructions on how to cook the trout, but if caught oneself I would be inclined to serve it whole so you can show it off in its full glory. If this is indeed your intention, the recipe should, of course, begin with: First, catch your trout…

When cooking whole fish, once cleaned and the gills removed, I tend to season the fish inside and out, then stuff the belly with a few aromatics such as herbs, citrus, ginger, crushed lemongrass or chilli.

Try out our recipe for trout chowder, a deeply comforting dish that is good for using leftover trout. Or take a look at our pick of the top 10 trout rivers in the UK and Ireland.


Each sauce serves 2


Warm tomato, anchovy and caper sauce 

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1 dsp finely chopped oregano
  • 4 tbsp water

Herby hollandaise

I make my hollandaise in a food processor but you can also do it the more traditional way over a bain-marie

  • 130g unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 10g finely chopped soft herbs (I use a mix of parsley, dill and chives)

Black olive and chilli sauce

  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little salt
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 10g finely chopped parsley
  • 60g stoned black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

How to make trout sauces

Anchovy and caper sauce

  • In a pan on a low to medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil, then gently sauté the shallots and garlic until soft.
  • Add the anchovy and capers and cook for one minute before adding the tomatoes.
  • Lightly season and cook for about five minutes so the tomatoes soften.
  • Stir in the vinegar, oregano and water, check seasoning.
  • Serve warm.

Herby hollandaise sauce

  • On a medium heat, melt the butter in a small pan, skim off the froth (this can be added to pastas, rice, soups or stews).
  • In a food processor safely propped at an angle (I hold it or tuck a folded tea towel under one side), whizz the egg yolks and half a teaspoon of lemon juice together until pale and thick.
  • Slowly pour in the hot, melted butter, then whizz in the remainder of the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and the herbs.
  • Check seasoning; serve warm.

Black olive and chilli sauce

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season.
  • Serve at room temperature.