This pasta salad with smoked trout is full of fresh spring flavours. It’s made with a healthy mix of green asparagus, fennel, radish and young arugula leaves tossed in a lemony dressing with capers. The smokiness of the fish gives this salad so much deliciousness, and because it’s loaded up with vegetables and not denominated by pasta, it makes for a light meal that is fresh and bright.
Smoked trout salad — an all time favourite
This pasta salad with smoked trout is based on my of my favourite recipes — one that we eat on a regular basis, for years now. The original smoked trout orzo salad recipe is made with artichokes and fresh mint, but we often enjoy variations of it. Sometimes we add steamed green beans to it, sometimes it’s without the mint. But what always stays the same is that it must include smoked trout, lemon, capers and arugula. And as a pasta salad, I always make it with orzo rice-shaped pasta. Just enough to give it substance, while keeping it a salad with pasta, versus pasta with salad.
We often enjoy this as a generous main for two, but it also makes a great side dish for a picnic or BBQ. Or served as a side dish along side “Brotzeit” or combined with one or two other side dishes. Any fresh-tasting Mediterranean style salad makes a complimentary addition. Or if you want something a little more filling, then serve as a starter dish before the main course, or as the main attraction alongside some crusty bread, or as a topping for a baked potato, à la Kumpir.
Buying smoked trout
I often pick up my smoked trout at the market or fish monger, either already filleted or whole and filet it myself. You can also find smoked trout at your local supermarket or organic food store. A tasty alternative to smoked trout is Arctic char (in German, Saíbling). It’s actually my favourite — it’s more expensive but incredibly flavourful — and the fresh fish itself tastes delicious grilled.
Looking for other ways to enjoy smoked trout?
Try one of these delicious smoked trout recipes:
- Smoked Trout Orzo Salad with Artichokes & Fennel
- Pasta with Smoked Trout in a Creamy Lemon-Dill Sauce
- Potato Salad with Smoked Fish
Smoked Trout Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Fennel
For the salad:
- 1 cup orzo pasta (200 g)
- 125 g smoked trout, coarsely chopped (or more, depending on size of filets)
- 1 bunch green asparagus, trimmed (500 g)
- 1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 handfuls baby arugula leaves
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fill a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the orzo. Cook according to packet instructions, until al dente, drain, rinse and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
Steam the asparagus: In a large skillet over medium heat, add asparagus. Add enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and let steam for 3 to 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender (can easily be pierced with a knife) but still crisp and bright green. Then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set then lay them to dry on a clean kitchen towel.and then cut into thirds.
In a large bowl, mix together the orzo, smoked trout, asparagus, fennel and radishes with the dressing and toss until well combined. Add the arugula leaves and toss again to coat.
Divide the salad between plates and enjoy!
- This salad also goes well with steam green beans, rather than asparagus. And also tastes great without either of these ingredients.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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