Baked trout provençale

Although this Provençal favourite is served during summer when the tomatoes are at their plummest, it is also successful with canned tomatoes


  • 4 trout, deboned and butterflied
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 300g fresh tomatoes, chopped or 240 g canned tomatoes
  • Pinch granulated sugar (optional)
  • 30ml chopped fresh basil
  • 12 black olives, pitted
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 red pepper fillets (the sides of the pepper)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a large baking dish big enough to accommodate all the fish in a single layer. If they don’t fit into one, use two.
2. Open up the trout and season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.
4. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then mix in the tomatoes and sugar. When it starts to boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is thick and fragrant. Stir in the basil and olives, and season to taste.
5. Place a spoonful of tomato sauce and a sprig of thyme on one half of each butterflied trout and close up.
6. Lay side by side in the baking dish and spread the remaining sauce over the fish.
7. Place the red pepper fillets randomly among the fish and cover with lightly oiled foil.
8. Bake for 10–15 minutes until the fish pulls apart easily when tested with a fork.
9. Serve the fish with the sauce, red peppers, shaved butternut that is dressed in olive oil and raspberry vinegar, and slices of grilled potatoes.

(This recipe serves 4 people)