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Trout with Preserved Lemons, Raisins and Pine Nuts

In Morocco, the mountains of the Middle Atlas region are the only source for trout. "It's so high up, you can go skiing there," Paula Wolfert says. "Parts of the region look like Switzerland." This light, brothy dish reminded her of one she had at famed French chef Michel Bras's restaurant in southwestern France. In fact, she uses his method here, poaching the fish gently in a preserved-lemon broth so the texture stays silky.


slideshow More Moroccan Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • Two 8-ounce skinless trout fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 6 scallions, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/8 inch thick on the diagonal (1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced 1/8 inch thick on the diagonal
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 preserved lemon—pulp removed, peel rinsed and minced (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a shallow dish, season the fish with salt, black pepper and cayenne; spread in a single layer. Sprinkle the fish with 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with warm water and let stand until plump, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, combine the scallions and carrots with 4 cups of water and simmer the vegetables over moderate heat until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the honey, preserved lemon peel, raisins and pine nuts, season with salt and black pepper and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes longer.
  4. Slip the trout into the broth, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the fish is just barely cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drizzle the fish with the olive oil, garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and serve.


Preserved lemons are cured in salt and lemon juice. They are available at specialty food markets and from chefshop.com.

Suggested Pairing

Zesty California Sauvignon Blanc.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published October 2011

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