Yesterday’s TBT Cookbook Review was for Piedmont, one of the books in the Flavors of Italy series by Time Life. I love trout, love them. I cook them and I eat them still smoking from my cast iron pan.

So, this method of cooking struck me as bolding different. You still cook the fish, but then you marinate it for at least a day, in a cold spot but NOT your fridge. I am going to look soulfully at my wife the next time we pass the fish counter.

You can use this technique with other freshwater fish, for example fillets of carp. But I like the idea of the trout, the whole trout, and nothing but trout.

Marinated Trout or Trota in Carpione

Yield: serves 4


For the trout:

  • 4 small trout, each weighing around 12 ounces (or 12-16 small trout fillets) 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • Small sprig fresh thyme

For the marinade:

  • ⅔ cup white wine vinegar
  • ⅔ dry white wine
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 6 lightly crushed juniper berries
  • 15 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 large onion, sliced about 1/8th inch thick
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Trim and draw (gut) the fish. Rinse well inside and out, then dry with paper towels. Place the butter, sage leaves, and thyme in a wide skillet (frying pan) over fairly high heat. The butter will foam gently as it heats; as soon as this foam has subsided, it is hot enough to add the trout. After the trout have fried for about 5 minutes on one side, turn them over and fry for another 5 minutes, or until they are done.

While the fish are cooking, make the marinade. Bring the vinegar and wine to a boil with the bay leaves, juniper berries, sage leaves, onion, and salt in a saucepan. Leave to simmer over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat.

As soon as the trout are done, transfer to a fairly deep dish just large enough to contain· them in a single layer. Sprinkle with the hot marinade and its flavorings. Leave to cool at room temperature.

When cold, cover the dish with a piece of plastic wrap or foil. Leave in a cool place (not in the refrigerator) for at least 24 hours before serving.

Prepared in this way marinated fish will keep for 5-6 days.

Source: Flavors of Italy Piedmont [Time Life, 1999]