Trota allo Zenzero

Trout with Ginger and Shallot Butter

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

I know ginger seems a little strange in a basic Italian vocabulary of ingredients, but dried ginger was popular in Roman cooking. It mysteriously disappeared for a few centuries and then reappeared with Marco Polo, when it played a part in the complicated and rich Renaissance dishes of Modena. Dried ginger is still used in Basilicata and Calabria, in Venetian cookery, and in some dishes of Florentine origin. But we don’t have to wait for the slow boat from China for ginger. It’s available fresh at nearly all our markets. Why not use it?


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons dry vermouth
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 boned trout, heads removed, about ½ pound each
  • Olive oil for brushing the fish


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook gently several minutes. Add 2 tablespoons vermouth and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the shallots are tender, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

Puree the ginger and remaining tablespoon vermouth in a food processor; set aside.

Process the remaining 10 tablespoons butter in the food processor until smooth. Add the shallot and ginger mixtures; process with pulses until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat the grill or broiler. Brush each fish with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until just cooked through, about 4 minutes each side. (The trout can also be sautéed in a little butter or olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat about 3 minutes each side.) Spread the flavored butter over the trout and serve hot with sautéed spinach or steamed snow peas or asparagus.