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Ross Bowles’ Seared Rainbow Trout with Spaghetti Squash, Crispy Lonza and Espelette Velouté

Seared Rainbow Trout

Ross Bowles' Seared Rainbow Trout with Spaghetti Squash, Crispy Lonza and Espelette Velouté

At River Café we make this dish with trout farmed within city limits.

That fits perfectly with our culinary philosophy of being local and sustainable. The fish arrives so fresh it’s still stiff. It’s a great product to showcase. Our Espelette peppers come from the Okanagan, and we dry and grind enough each year to make them a staple of our local-spice cabinet (the only spices we use). Crispy pork, sweet tomato and fall squash are, for me, the perfect accents to this dish. Ross Bowles – River Café, Calgary


  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • cold pressed canola or olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 1.5 kg (3 lb), split and seeded
  • Espelette pepper
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 top-quality skin-on trout fillets, about 180 g (6 oz) each
  • 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) white sugar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) 35% cream
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) milk
  • 1⁄2 stick (1⁄4 cup) + 1 tbsp butter
  • 50 g (2 oz) Grizzly (or other top-quality) gouda, grated
  • 8 thin slices lonza (or 4 slices prosciutto)
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral oil

Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Arrange tomatoes flesh side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and season with salt.

Rub flesh side of squash with oil, and season with salt and a pinch of Espelette. Arrange halves flesh side down on top of two sprigs of thyme on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Transfer tomatoes and squash to the oven (if available, activate convection). After 10 minutes, remove tomatoes and set aside. Remove squash when it begins to soften, 30 to 40 minutes total. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 135C (275F).

Arrange lonza on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press beneath a second layer of paper and another baking sheet. Transfer to oven until crisp, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Coat each trout fillet with about 1 tbsp of salt and sugar and set aside for 20 minutes.

To make the velouté, heat a saucepan on medium-low, add 1 tbsp oil and sweat the shallot until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream, milk, 1⁄2 stick butter, 1 tsp Espelette and leaves from two remaining sprigs of thyme. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cheese, and salt to taste. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.

Rinse trout thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

To finish, warm squash and sauce. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high, add oil, and when it shimmers, sear fish skin-side down until bronzed and crisp, about 3 minutes. Add remaining tbsp butter, flip fish and cook to medium-rare, about 2 more minutes. Remove fish from pan to rest.

Mound squash at centre of four warm flat bowls and flood with velouté. Place fish skin-side up at centre. Garnish with lonza and tomatoes.

Serves 4 

📷 River Café