Tuesday, 3 February 2009

smoked trout & warm potato salad

I love warm potatoes tossed in tangy dressing. There’s nothing more delicious in my opinion. The earthy starchiness of the potato is balanced wonderfully by fresh herbs and acidic lemon.

In this salad, gorgeous smoked trout flesh is a rich addition and lifts the recipe from a side dish to a light meal on its own. Capers help to cut through the richness of the fish with their own salty, briny bite.

I simply love this salad, and using my father’s home-smoked trout makes it even more superb.

Smoked Trout & Warm Potato Salad
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2 as light starter.


1 smoked trout fillet
6 large, waxy potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground salt and pepper


1. Peel potatoes and chop into chunks.

2. Boil potatoes until tender but not disintegrating (5-10 minutes).

3. While the potatoes are boiling, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice and chopped herbs.

4. When potatoes are cooked, drain and place in a bowl. Top with dressing and toss to combine. Allow to cool 5 minutes and mingle flavours.

5. Next add capers, salt and pepper and toss again.

6. Serve topped with flaked smoked trout.

Capparis spinosa is native to the Mediterranean and is a spiny shrub whose immature bud is pickled and sold as the delectable caper. The mature fruits are also pickled and sold as caperberries.

Capers grow wild in the Middle East and North Africa and there is evidence the Egyptians consumed them as far back as 18,000 years ago.

When the buds are ready for harvesting they turn dark olive green. They are hand-picked then pickled in either salt or brine. Capers are sold by their size, the smallest considered the best: non-pareil (up to 7mm), surfines (7-8mm), capucines (8-9mm), capotes (9-11mm), fines (11-13mm), and grusas (14+mm).

The tiny white blemishes sometimes visible on capers is the crystallisation of rutin, an enzymatic reaction from the mustard oil (glucocapparin) released by the buds.

In Greece, the caper leaves are also pickled and used in salads or fish dishes. Dried caper leaves can also replace rennet in the cheese-making process.

Our Weekend Herb Blogging host this week is Dee from The Daily Tiffin so check out the round-up in about a week.

Illustration & References:



  1. Sounds delicious. I just got some capers in salt and need to try cooking with them.

  2. Hello!! This looks wonderful! And your site is amazing, incredibly inspiring.
    My sister, Julie, works for you and she forwarded it to me because I love cooking.
    Just wonderful!
    Rachel Melrose

  3. kalyn - wonderful as always to be visited by you. let me know how the salty capers go. i'm a bit scared of them to be honest!

    rachel - i've heard all about your amazing indian cooking so we need to swap notes sometime.

  4. I do LOVE this recipe - capers and smoked trout with lots of fresh herbs. So good. As for salted capers, I've used them for years and they're far superior to their brined cousins. They have more concentrated caper flavor. I rarely use brined anymore. At my local store, salted capers cost almost $10 for only a few ounces. However at a Seattle wholesaler with a retail outlet called Big John's PFI I bought a pound of salted capers for just under $16. I suspect there are stores similar to Big John's in most big cities around the world.


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