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by Mario Batali

Grilled Whole Lake Trout with Onions, Olives and Red Chard Recipe

Grilled lake trout captures the essence of summer cooking

Q: I'm looking for a summer fish recipe. Any ideas?

A: It's during the last weeks of June that I start fantasizing about being in Michigan. The temperatures are ticking up in NewYork and the city streets are sweating with heat. I'm thirsting for the Lake Michigan breeze.

Grilled fish is a favorite of ours during the summer because it's light and easy -- exactly how cooking should be at this time of year.

Like vegetables and herbs, fish is both regional and seasonal. In this recipe, I call for lake trout, available year-round from the Great Lakes, particularly Lakes Huron, Superior and Michigan. (Of course, I'm partial to Michigan lake trout). Substitute other fish, such black bass, snapper or striped bass, depending on what is freshest.

The key to delicious seafood eating is a friendly fishmonger. Ask him or her what product was delivered most recently. Fresher fish is uniformly more delicious.

Italians like their fish served plain, unaccompanied by contorni or side dishes. Americans prefer fish with vegetable accompaniments and sauces. In this recipe, I split the difference. The green olive pesto is passed separately, preserving the spirit of the Italian preparation while satisfying eaters who prefer some sauce on the side.

The first thing I'll do when we get to Michigan is take a swim in the lake. Then I'll probably mix myself an Aperol spritz. Third thing I'll do is fire up the grill for some fish.

Grilled Whole Lake Trout with Onions, Olives and Red Chard Recipe

From "Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages"

Serves 4.

2 lake trout, approximately 2 pounds each, scaled, gutted and rinsed

Salt and pepper

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup cured black olives, preferably Ligurian

4 cups chopped red Swiss chard (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch-wide strips

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup Green Olive Pesto (recipe below)

2 lemons, sliced into wedges

Preheat the grill or broiler.

Pat the fish dry, season inside and out with salt and pepper, and brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place on the grill and cook 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes, until the skin is nearly charred and crispy, yet the flesh is still moist near the bone. (You can check with a meat thermometer; internal temperature at the bone should get to 135 F to 140 F.)

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and cook 1 minute, until wilted. Add the black olives, chard, and lemon juice and zest, and toss until wilted, 2 to 3minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the fish on a large serving platter, arrange the chard around the edges, and serve immediately. Pass the green olive pesto and lemon wedges separately, so diners can serve themselves.

Green Olive Pesto

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

1 1/2 cups large of jump green olives, such as ascolane, pitted

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, approximately

In a food processor, combine the olives, onion, pine nuts and garlic, and blend for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until it forms a thick, smooth paste. Allow to stand 1/2 hour before using.

(Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind twenty-four restaurants including Eataly, Del Posto, and his flagship Greenwich Village enoteca, Babbo. In this column, Mario answers questions submitted via social media and by people he encounters daily in Downtown Manhattan. Keep asking!)

Grilled Whole Lake Trout with Onions, Olives and Red Chard Recipe, American Seafood Cuisine




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"Grilled Whole Lake Trout with Onions, Olives and Red Chard"


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