Colourful, flavourful and light as air, Mediterranean cuisine remains a hot favourite.
TROUT IN VINE LEAVES
Prep time 30 mins Cooking time 40 mins to 1 hour Serves 6-8
1 trout (about 1 kg) 12 large vine leaves, washed 2 tbsp olive oil 2 lemons, sliced, and pitted olives, to garnish
1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp butter 1 onion, chopped 2 cups basmati rice 1 tsp Chinese five-spice 1 bay leaf 1 cinnamon stick 450ml boiling water 1 tsp salt 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 lemon, zest of 4 tbsp toasted almond flakes, plus extra for garnish 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 200°C. To prepare the filling, heat oil and butter in a deep-frying pan and sauté the onion until glossy. Add the rice, five-spice, bay leaf and cinnamon and sauté for another 2 minutes or until all the rice is coated with the oil. Stir in the boiling water and salt,
cover and cook until rice is done, about 12 minutes. Then, stir in the remaining ingredients and allow to cool slightly. Rinse the fish and pat-dry with paper towels. Carefully cut along its spine and remove the bone. Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with the rice mixture (if there’s any excess serve it along with the fish). Next, wrap the trout with the vine leaves – the head and tail can stick out – and secure with a thin string. Place on baking paper in an ovenproof dish and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the string once the fish is cooked, garnish with almond flakes, lemon and olives and serve immediately.