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Grilled Steelhead Trout with Mint Pesto

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited that we made it through winter. With the weather finally starting to get a little warmer and the trees coming back to life, the last thing I want to do is be stuck indoors. I thought for this month, in between the April / May showers, wouldn’t it be nice to pull out your grill and enjoy the weather?! This recipe has many sides to it. The grilling process can be done for not only Steelhead Trout but also Salmon and Arctic Char. I also wanted to go a little fancier with the mint pesto, but that’s a side sauce, so for this recipe, you really don’t need it. But, why not be a little more adventurous?

All about Steelhead Trout

Before we dive head first into cooking, let’s just touch base on what Steelhead Trout is. It is in the Salmon family but has quite an interesting background to it. Steelhead Trout is a migratory trout which means they are born in freshwater, migrate to salt water as an adult, then back to fresh water to reproduce. A nomadic fish of sorts. But there are cases that some Steelhead Trout stay in freshwater, we know these fish to be Rainbow Trout.

You might ask (as I did), “But wait! Steelhead Trout meat is red and Rainbow Trout meat is white. How can Steelhead Trout be Rainbow Trout?” Great question!

When a Rainbow Trout decides that they would rather stay in freshwater, they adapt to their surroundings meaning they eat what is available to them and stay a smaller size because they live in a smaller environment. When Rainbow Trout venture out to salt water, they too adapt to their surroundings which is why they are bigger in size (the ocean is huge) and their color changes due to their new, shellfish rich diet. Interesting right?

At Foremost Seafood, our Steelhead Trout comes from Scotland. The same fishery that our organic Scottish Salmon comes from. Our Steelhead Trout is $16.99/lb (price subject to change). The meat in Steelhead is leaner which gives it a delicate flavor and flakier texture than that of Salmon. In addition to it’s lean protein, Steelhead Trout is also full of vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

The Recipe

This recipe is versatile and can be used with almost any other type of fish that is similar to Steelhead. There are two parts to the recipe, first is the grilling aspect and then the additional sauce. If the mint pesto is not something you think you’d enjoy (though I fully recommend trying it before nixing it), grilling your fish gives you the opportunity to play around with other sauces.

Steelhead Grilling Ingredients

  • 1lb of Steelhead Trout (skin on - helps keep the meat together when cooking)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp pepper

  • Two to three slices of lemon

Mint Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onions

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint

  • ¼ to ½ cup olive oil (I did half of cup and it seemed to be a little too oily for me)

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

  • 1 pinch of salt.

Grilling Instructions

I used a charcoal grill in this grilling process. If you are using propane, temperature and times may vary just a little bit. I also used a grilling basket that just happened to be the shape of a fish, for my Steelhead. My husband, Bryan, said it made the flipping of the fish a lot easier and I was very grateful that my fillet was still in one piece. This product will be available soon at Foremost Seafood as they are great for almost anything you are trying to grill especially fish and shrimp.

  1. Prepare the grill for cooking over medium to high heat (450 - 550 degrees). Close the lid and let coals heat up.

  2. Coat fish on both sides with olive oil then add salt and pepper to the fish (go light on the olive oil on the skin side). I added on the slices of lemon when I was grilling but it could easily go without it as well.

  3. Once the grill is ready, place the fish skin side down on the grill and let sit with the lid closed for about 6-8 minutes, then flip and cook the other side of fish for about 2-4 minutes for medium rare or a little longer if you want your fish a little more done.

  4. Remove fish and let rest for about 1-2 minutes before serving.

It’s just that simple. You can use this grilling method on fish similar to Steelhead such as Salmon or Arctic Char. Other fish, depending on thickness, will change grilling time, but it pretty much can be used on any fish.

Mint Pesto Instructions

Making the Mint Pesto is super easy. You’ll want to finely chop up the green onions and mint leaves. You’ll then add in your dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon zest, and salt. Mix together. I found that it is best when chilled just a little so you may want to make your pesto first and stick it in the refrigerator while you are grilling up your fish. Simple as that!

The Mint Pesto was surprisingly subdued even using the mint leaves. It’s super easy to make and since you aren’t actually cooking the fish in it, I would recommend trying it on the side before putting it on your fish. I really hope that you are just as surprised by how good it is as I was.

At Foremost Seafood

With Winter coming to an end, it’s time to break out the grill and what better way to start your spring by grilling up some Steelhead Trout. With the grilling method provided, you can use it towards any other fish you desire. Just make sure to adjust the timing depending on the type of fish you get. Give us a call at (937) 298-1986 to place your order ahead of time, or swing by at 1904 Woodman Center, Dr., Dayton, OH 45420 to say hi! Well, I hope you enjoyed this recipe and it gives you inspiration for cooking up your fish this summer.

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