Baked Trout with Watercress and Lemon Orzo Risotto

Chalke Valley has some amazing food. This dish celebrates a fraction of it. If you don't like watercress this probably isn't the dish for you as it's pretty punchy but it's fresh, delightful and perfect for this time of year.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 white onion

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

50g frozen peas

200g orzo

100ml white wine

1 vegetable stock pot

400-500ml of boiling water

1 bag of watercress

Juice of ½ lemon, segment the remaining

2 tbsp marscapone

2 ChalkStream trout fillets

Salt and pepper


Boil a kettle of water and pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

In a medium size saucepan on a low to medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling water, add the peas and cook for a few minutes. Drain then add to a blender.

Add the orzo to the cooked onions and season with salt and pepper. Add the white wine, stir and cook until most of the moisture has been absorbed.

Gradually add in the stock ladleful at a time. Stir frequently until the liquid has been fully absorbed.

Place the trout fillets into some foil, season with salt and pepper then form a parcel with the foil so it seals in the moisture. Put on an oven tray and place into the oven for 18-20 minutes.

Whilst the orzo is cooking, add the watercress to the blender (the peas should already be in there) along with the juice of half a lemon and the mascarpone. Add some seasoning then blend until smooth - the smoother the better.

When the orzo is cooked, add the puree into the risotto. Stir to combine, cook for 2 more minutes to allow it to heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve the risotto with the trout, a handful of fresh watercress leaves and a lemon segment.