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Mediterranean Baked Rainbow Trout with Chickpeas

This is such a simple, so deliciously flaky and tender fish made with only fresh ingredients you will love. You can use any thick flesh white fish of your choice for this recipe. I like rainbow trout!

But this dish is it's not only about the fish for me.

In many photos of my recipes for fish dishes you will see a silver fish serving set with ivory colored handles. That set belonged to my mother. But there is a story behind it.

My mother was a holocaust survivor who's 36 year old mother and 9 year old brother were murdered in Auschwitz along with 6 milion others. Needless to say nothing was recovered after the war as nothing remained from the family's possessions including their home in Czechoslovakia. (Slovakia as it's known today) Some who were smart and quick thinking left Eastern Europe just before the second world war started in the late 30s, sparing their lives and that of their family.

My mother's aunt and her family did just that and moved to the USA just in time. My mother went on to live In Israel after the war ended.

A few years after she arrived in Israel, her aunt who now lived in the US sent her a package, which was a common thing to receive from relatives living in the US. Usually the packages were filled with goodies hard to find in the young country at the time. In the package was a fish set of a large silver serving knife and fork with ivory colored handles that she had received as a wedding gift from my grandmother, my mother's mother who perished in the holocaust, just before they left Czechoslovakia. This was most likely handed down to my grandmother by her mother as it is doubtful she was able to purchase a sterling silver serving set in the late 30's as a jew living in Eastern Europe.

So this is the only item my mother had from her mother, everything else was either destroyed or stolen from jewish families during the war.

I love using it for any fish dish I make, I feel that young woman who would have been my grandmother and my mother around me when I do.

So how do we make this delicious baked trout dish with fresh ingredients that you can smell while it is cooking all around the house?

I am so exited to share this recipe with you! So here we go:

Ingredients: (this makes 2 large portions of trout. Double the ingredients for more.)

All ingredients can be adjusted according to taste

For initial frying:

2 portions of fresh rainbow trout. I buy it whole and filleted at my local fish shop.

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon of salt

For fish seasoning mix:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon of harissa sauce or chilly pepper (this will make sauce spicy, if you prefer a milder sauce, omit this)

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons water

3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 large tomato sliced into medium thickness

16 oz chickpeas. Either dried type from a packet and soaked overnight, then cooked for 45 minutes in boiling water or 1 can.

For sautéing chickpeas:

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ cup chopped cilantro (optional) you can also use chopped parsley

A little chopped parsley for garnish

Sliced lemon for garnish

Baking pan or aluminum disposable roasting pan


Heat oven to 400

Heat olive oil in a wide sauté pan. Sprinkle trout with salt and sauté on each side for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and lay in baking pan. Do not throw out oil from pan.

In a small bowl mix olive oil, salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, harissa sauce or chilly pepper and black pepper. Brush generously on both sides of fish and inside. Lay sliced tomatoes on sides of fish. Brush tomatoes with seasoning. Add the sliced garlic inside the fish and on tomatoes. Pour any remainder seasoning mix on top.

With sharp knife make 3-4 straight slits on top of fish in the skin. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Take out and baste, add 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom if fish looks a little dry.

Return to oven for 15 more minutes or until skin is crispy on top.

While fish is baking, in same oil as the fish was sautéed in, add paprika, cumin, turmeric and cilantro. Add a little more olive oil if pan looks too dry. Taste to see if a little more salt is needed. Mix over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and sauté for about 15 minutes stirring a few times until all the chickpeas are complete covered and have absorbed all the seasoning.

Arrange rainbow trout on a large plate, sprinkle chopped parsley on top, spoon the chickpeas and tomatoes around.

Enjoy this wonderful dinner fit for royalty with an Israeli salad. See link below!

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