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Cornmeal-Fried Trout with Tomato, Sorrel, and Basil Panzanella

See Ryan Hardy, executive chef at the Little Nell hotel in Aspen, Colorado, prepare this recipe.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2010


For the Panzanella

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta (4 to 5 ounces) or other crusty bread, torn into 1-inch cubes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, quartered (left whole if using cherry tomatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 10 basil leaves, preferably Thai, torn
  • 6 to 8 sorrel leaves, torn

For the Fish

  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 trout fillets (4 to 5 ounces each)
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal


  1. Make the panzanella: Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium. Add 1 cup oil, and heat until shimmering. Fry bread until light brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bread cubes to a paper-towel-lined tray; season with salt and pepper.

  2. Combine tomatoes, vinegar, basil, sorrel, bread, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Let stand while preparing fish.

  3. Make the fish: Whisk together buttermilk, chives, parsley, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium until shimmering. Season fish with salt and pepper; dredge each fillet in flour, and dip into buttermilk mixture, then cornmeal. Working in batches, fry until crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined tray; season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with panzanella.

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