Simplicity is often the most underrated aspect of cooking. Keeping things simple is almost always easier said than done, but it’s pretty amazing what a great dish you can make with butter, salt, pepper and lemon. This is actually based on a Thomas Keller recipe that I found on epicurious. My presentation is not quite the same as his, per se, but this simple dish of trout and green beans is still delicious and sophisticated, and also shockingly easy. If you’re looking for dish that says politely, but very firmly, that spring is here, I can’t recommend anything but this.

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2 rainbow trout filets, skin on

3/4 pound of fresh green beans

4 + 1 tablespoons butter

Juice from half of a lemon

Canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Add a large handful of salt to the water and the green beans shortly after. Cook for 3-5 minutes until green beans are just tender. Drain the green beans and drop them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain them again and dry them off.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, or maybe a touch higher than medium. Add enough canola oil to the pan to just barely coat the bottom. Add the fish filets, skin side down, to the hot pan. Do not flip the filets over. After about 4 minutes, they will have turned mostly white except for the very tops. Remove the fish from the pan with a very thin spatula; the skin should be crispy.
  3. In a separate pan, sauté the green beans in one tablespoon of butter for about five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In the pan that you cooked the fish, add the four tablespoons of butter, and cook over medium heat until it turns brown and smells nutty. Add the lemon juice.
  5. Top the trout with the green beans and pour half of the brown butter over each filet. Violá!