Nutritional information,  Savoury

Trout with almonds and an eight-kilo water baby

As a discerning Frenchman-in-the-making, Léo has strong opinions about the taste, quality and provenance of the water he drinks. At lycée, he often plays football at lunchtime with his classmates and, after playing on Friday, they were thirsty and nipped to the supermarket where he spotted an eight-litre bottle of his preferred water on special offer. Although they were due back in class, he couldn’t resist, and he and his friends had to haul this vast bottle back over almost a kilometre and up several flights of stairs. The vat was treated like a new class member and given its own desk and chair and became quite the talking point, much to the teacher’s exasperation. Over the next couple of days, it accompanied them everywhere, including the canteen at lunchtime where it had its own place at the table. When Léo was telling me this story, I was reminded of an experiment where men were asked to carry a five-kilo bag of flour around with them all day, pretending it was a baby. They had to feed it, change its nappy, put it down to sleep and generally do their best not to kill it. So now I feel like the grandmother of a giant blue, intellectually precocious water baby called Volvic…
In other news, I think that Java, who couldn’t be accused of intellectual precociousness,  might need reading glasses. Either that or she’s wilfully disobedient, which I’m sure can’t be the case. Léo says a lobotomy is the only answer, but in view of the whole big blue water baby paternity thing, I’m not sure his opinion’s valid.

We are eating more trout and less salmon these days because, although I love wild salmon, it’s not always easy to find and is also expensive. Farmed salmon has three times more fat than the wild variety and a large proportion of this fat is the pro-inflammatory Omega 6, as opposed to the more beneficial Omega 3 fatty acid . It is the couch potato of fish and the quality of its fat speaks volumes.
Ingredients (serves 2)
100g salted butter
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 whole trout, cleaned and gutted
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
80g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt half of the butter and combine with the fresh herbs and lemon juice. Cover the trout generously and then set into a baking dish and add the seasoning. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the fish crumbles when prodded with a fork. Melt the remains of the butter and gently fry the flaked almonds until golden brown. Pour over the cooked fish and serve.


  • KJ

    Perhaps I, too, am a “Frenchman-in-the-makiing,” for my heart is definitely there and I share the same issue with the taste of bottled water as does Léo. Water is my primary beverage and, although I tell M I can discern a difference between Netto’s and Lidl’s offerings, he tut-tuts in that frustrating manner our partners employ on occasion. As for the salmon, who knew? I thought I was doing okay with farmed salmon, although I always tried to buy wild, if only because I liked the idea that it had a “natural” life before it landed on my plate. I shall be more cautious in the future. Merci.

    • The Healthy Epicurean

      Well to be honest, I understand you and Léo because I too am fussy about water (as we say in French, ‘cats don’t give birth to dogs’!) I think that farmed salmon is OK as long as it’s not eaten to excess when the Omega 6 might become a problem. Also, I don’t know about you but I find it less digestible than wild… How are you? Are you experiencing this unseasonably cold weather? I’m so looking forward to some sun and heat. F

      • KJ

        Weather? I woke up to four inches of snow, two days ago. Haven’t had that in March for over thirteen years, that I know of. We usually have a blanket of tiny yellow, white and lavender flowers covering the lawn by late February and nice, green grass at this time. Something in the universe is out of kilter.

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