The recipe below uses wild-caught spotted seatrout, a fish commonly targeted by inshore anglers. There is only a small commercial fishery for seatrout in Florida, so it might be tough to find in seafood markets. You can substitute any mild, white fish in this recipe if you cannot find seatrout. Some examples of good options include lionfish or tilapia.
If you want to use local trout for this recipe, you’ll need to catch your own! A great way to catch seatrout is to go on a guided fishing trip, perhaps with a Florida Friendly Fishing Guide near you, or target seatrout on your own. Spotted seatrout are often caught over shallow grass flats. They are aggressive feeders, and can be caught using a variety of natural or artificial bait. Spotted seatrout harvest is generally open year-round in Florida, but bag limits vary by region. Check FWC’s seatrout fishing regulations for the most up-to-date information.
If you are fishing for spotted seatrout in local waters, do your part to protect the fishery! First, take only what you plan to eat! Also, reduce unnecessary death for fish you release by learning better handling practices, as seatrout are particularly sensitive to death through poor handling (see: www.catchandrelease.org). Finally, remember to protect seagrass while boating, because these fish depend
on healthy seagrass.
Baked Trout with Pesto Pine Nut Topping
This recipe is quick and easy, high in lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3s, and very tasty. I am excited to share it with you in my upcoming cooking demonstration as part of the Seafood at your Fingertips LIVE series. This recipe is great for cool nights of the fall and winter, and could even serve as the main event for a seafood-based Thanksgiving feast. Read on for more about how to watch the demonstration and cook along with me.
How to watch
The baked seatrout cooking demonstration will take place at 6 pm EST on Wednesday, Nov 18th via Facebook Live on the Florida Sea Grant Facebook page! If you cannot catch the demonstration live, all videos will be archived for future viewing at this page. I’ll be available live to answer your questions and respond to comments – I can’t wait to see you there!
How to cook along
The recipe is simple and quick, so if you want to cook along you definitely could. To prepare, check out the ingredient list below and make sure you have what you need. If you are using frozen fish, defrost it in advance by placing in the refrigerator the night before. Never defrost seafood at room temperature! If you are using freshly caught fish, you should fillet most of your fish in advance since we will only briefly cover filleting in the live video (or be prepared to pause while you finish filleting).
You can get a preview of the steps we will take by downloading the recipe here (pdf). The ingredients below will yield 8 servings of baked seatrout.
- 2 lb. white fish fillets (this recipe uses fillets from four spotted seatrout)
- 1 cup dry toasted pine nuts (or chopped roasted cashews)
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or parmesan-romano blend)
- 1/4 cup pesto
- olive oil or cooking spray for greasing
- salt and pepper to taste
I suggest serving this either over a salad (garden or caesar) or with steamed or sautéed veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, or green beans.