Seared Rainbow Trout Wrapped in Sautéed Greens

My father and I spent hours on the creeks and rivers near our acreage in Central Alberta fishing for trout together.

My dad taught me to hunt and fish, to cultivate in me the respect for the flora and fauna that he learned growing up on this land.

Story by Shane Chartrand
Photos by Camie Leard

This recipe for seared trout is flexible and can use greens found in the produce aisle, or foraged wild in Treaty Seven Territory. I invite you to find an Indigenous-led foraging walk in your area to help find ingredients for this and other recipes you try this spring and summer.

CPAWS Southern Alberta Chapter offers Indigenous-led walks, which may assist with foraging ingredients for this recipe.

Seared Rainbow Trout Wrapped in Sautéed Greens

Garnish this dish with the head and tail of the trout, remaining greens, carrot rounds, lemon slices, and squeeze lemon juice over the entire platter careful to keep the pips out of your masterpiece.
Author Shane Chartrand


  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 large leeks, rinsed and dried (or 4-6 wild cattails)
  • Maldon salt, fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp dressing oil (olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil for cooking (animal fat like candlefish oil is preferable, but any cooking oil will do)
  • small bunch of scallions or wild ramps
  • 1 150g package of baby arugula or wild nettles
  • 1 2 kg trout, cleaned and deboned
  • 1 lemon, juiced



  • Peel and cut the carrots into coin shapes and poach in the vegetable stock until quite tender.
  • Remove the carrots from the broth and place in a Vita-mix, blender, food processor or bowl to hand-mix. You can set a few whole carrot coins aside for garnish too, if you like.
  • Purée the carrots adding vegetable broth in small amounts until you have a thick-but smooth purée.
  • Stir or blend in the honey and set aside, keeping the purée warm.
  • While carrots are poaching, heat your grill and prepare leeks.

Leeks or Cattail Stalks

  • Clean and trim green parts from leeks leaving only the white parts. Leave the root end onto keep leeks together while roasting. If you’re using cattails, gently peel the stems to remove any burrs. Blanch leeks or cattails for 2 minutes then place in an ice bath to cool before grilling.
  • Place leeks directly on your heated grill for a great char and smoky flavour. Turn regularly for even colour and cooking. Don’t be afraid to blacken them. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  • Keep checking your leeks and remove when tender and charred. Cut the bottoms off and gloss with dressing oil, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
  • While leeks are grilling, prepare your fish and sautéed greens.

Sautéed Greens

  • Add cooking oil to a pan and heat to medium.
  • Add your chopped scallions or wild ramps and sautée until slightly wilted. Add half of the baby arugula and wilt, adding salt and pepper to taste. If you’re using wild nettle, be sure to wear gloves when handling it fresh. Cooking breaks down the stinging hairs, leaving them edible when cooked.
  • Toss the remaining arugula in a small amount of dressing oil and salt and set aside.
  • When your greens are wilted, arrange in a flat rectangle (large enough to wrap one filet) on top of a piece of plastic wrap and set aside.


  • In a skillet large enough for your fillets, heat your cooking oil to medium-high.
  • Salt flesh and skin sides of your fish to your taste (I used about 1 tsp per side). You can leave the head and tail on for presentation if you’re feeling creative. Set your fish aside.
  • When the skillet and oil are hot, carefully place your fish in the pan, skin-side down. If your fish is thin, you may not need to flip it over, but cook it according to your taste. I cooked it to medium (or when fish is opaque and can be easily flaked with a fork). The rule of thumb is 10-minutes per inch of thickness.


  • Remove the head and tail and set aside for plating.
  • Place one fillet on your sheet of greens (which you’ve arranged on a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, carefully roll the fillet over, covering it in your sautéed greens.
  • Serve the second fillet as is for some visual and flavour variety.


  • On a serving platter, spoon the beautiful, sweet carrot purée down first. Create visual interest by spreading or swirling the purée with the back of a spoon. Leave a spot for your wrapped fillet.
  • Place the wrapped fish on a clean spot on the serving platter and then, using a very sharp knife, cut away the plastic wrap, leaving just the greens and fillet behind. This technique can take some practice, so if you don’t get it the first time, no problem, it will still taste great.
  • Arrange your charred leeks or cattails atop the carrot purée and then place your second seared fillet on top of the leeks, skin side up or down to your preference.