This post is made in partnership with the Norwegian Seafood Council
While autumn hands the baton over to winter, meals that are rich and satisfying, yet also bright and refreshing, provide a welcome balance of the two seasons. This pan-seared Steelhead trout with roasted pumpkin, blackberries, and goat cheese is one of those dishes. A simple and elegant salad with buttery trout that beckons everyone to the table.
At the center of the dish is Steelhead trout from Norway; a richly flavored, melt-in-your-mouth fish that can be prepared similarly to salmon. Steelhead trout are raised in the waters of cold clear Norwegian fjords, giving them a cleaner taste and larger size than river or lake trout. The flesh is smooth and robust with a rainbow skin that crisps up perfectly as it cooks in the pan. With such a flavorsome fish, all you need is a little sea salt to accentuate its already luscious taste.
Alongside the Steelhead trout from Norway is a salad of roasted pumpkin, mixed greens, fresh blackberries, soft goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and a garlic vinaigrette. The pumpkin slices roast with a little oil, salt and oregano until slightly browned and softened. Their skins edible and soft. With eat bite, there’s a natural sweetness with a bit of savory.
The blackberries provide a delicate earthy freshness, while the soft goat cheese is salty and tangy. The pumpkin seeds, which could be roasted as well or flavored with some spice, add a lovely texture. To round off all the flavors, a very simple vinaigrette with garlic and Dijon blends nicely into the others, allowing each ingredient to shine.
Serve the trout and the pumpkin salad next to each other or by flaking the trout and placing on top of the salad. Choose delicate salad greens of your preference, and use blueberries or seedless grapes in place of the blackberries if desired. If using individual trout filets rather than a side piece as I have done here, adjust the cooking time to slightly less.
Pan-Seared Steelhead Trout with Roasted Pumpkin, Blackberries & Goat Cheese
For the roasted pumpkin:
- 1 medium Hokkaido pumpkin/Red Kuri squash
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
For the vinaigrette:
- ½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Pinch of salt
For the trout and salad:
- 1 ¾ pounds (800 g) boneless, skin-on side of Norwegian Steelhead trout
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups (about 250 g) blackberries
- 1.5 ounces (40 g) fresh goat cheese
- Handful or two of salad greens
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the Hokkaido pumpkin into thin wedges and remove the seeds (feel free to save the seeds to roast for later). Add the pumpkin wedges to the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, add the oregano leaves, and toss with your hands to evenly coat the pumpkin. Season with salt. Bake for 40 minutes or until nicely browned and softened, but still keeping its shape. Set aside to cool.
While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. In a jar, whisk together the oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and salt until emulsified. Set aside to let the flavors come together.
Pat the trout dry to prevent splattering when cooking, and season both sides with salt.
In a large, non-stick frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the trout, skin-side down, and cook undisturbed for 6 minutes. Carefully turn the trout over for about 2 minutes, or until the flesh is just cooked through and starting to flake. Transfer the trout, skin-side up, onto a large serving platter.
Place the pumpkin wedges on the platter next to the trout. Top the pumpkin with the salad greens and blackberries, then crumble the goat cheese on top and sprinkle with some pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the dressing on top and season with the cracked black pepper. Serve immediately and let everyone dig in.
Get inspired with more seafood dishes.