Brendan Pelley’s Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout with Mushrooms

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 23 2018


Brendan Pelley’s Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout with Mushrooms

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

During our trip to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region for Season 2 of Weekends with Yankee, chef Brendan Pelley of Boston’s Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar took us foraging for hen-of-the-wood mushrooms and sumac berries in a novel way: by golf cart. We were at his family’s cabin at the Arcadia Campground Association, a close-knit community of seasonal homes and campsites. Pelley grew up coming here, fishing and playing in the woods. When his chef training sparked an interest in foraging, he began finding edible treasures everywhere, including the little patches of ground between campsites. “People see me out here and think, What’s that Pelley kid up to now?” he said as he piloted the golf cart around the property. Once we had loaded up on edibles like sweet fern and goldenrod, he cooked up a delicious meal over a campfire, including this recipe for trout with wild mushrooms.

A little advice on substitutions here: If you can’t find trout, swap in branzino. Wild mushrooms can be pricey, so feel free to substitute regular button mushrooms—just be sure to build flavor by browning them well over high heat. And if you can’t find ramps, you can use scallions instead.


4 servings


4 wild or farm-raised trout fillets
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 ounces wild mushrooms (e.g., hen-of-the-wood, chanterelles), cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 ounces whole ramps or scallions, cut into 3-inch lengths
Fresh lemon juice, for drizzling


Pat the trout fillets dry with a paper towel and season all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. When the oil begins to smoke, add two trout fillets, skin side down, and gently shake the pan to keep them from sticking.

Reduce heat to medium and cook until the skin is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the tops of the fillets with some of the 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, then carefully turn them over and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with remaining fillets.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it begins to smoke, add the mushrooms and remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms turn golden brown at the edges, then add the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the butter. Transfer the mushroom mixture to your serving plate.

Return the pan to high heat and cook the ramps in the residual fat until slightly charred, about 3 minutes.

To assemble the dish, arrange the mushrooms on each plate, add a trout fillet, skin side up (to show off the crispy skin), and garnish with the ramps. Finish with a drizzle of lemon juice.