Trout with Lemon, Basil & Almond Crust

Trout with Lemon Herb Crust

Update July 23, 2021.  I’m heading out for a much-needed vacation after being cooped up in my house too long (stay tuned for a new ‘Field Trip Friday’ highlighting my adventure).   So I’m giving this vintage post a little bit of love today in order to highlight this yummy topping, which would be great on any fish or poultry 🙂


When Chicago friends told me they were coming to Sanibel, Florida and asked if I knew a fishing guide to take us fishing, I immediately thought of Captain Bill Hammond of Endless Summer Charters!

It’s nice to let a pro take you to his best spots so you can catch great fish in his local waters, and Captain Bill didn’t disappoint.

Even on the heels of a full moon, low tide, and a storm brewing offshore, we caught everything but the kitchen sink, and I can’t event count how many times all four of us were simultaneous hooked! Redfish, Trout, Snook, Jacks, Flounder – you name it, we got it.

Four hours of non-stop fishing made for an exhilarating, beautiful, fun day on the water.  Here’s a pic of me with Captain Bill and my respectable trout:

Bill Hammond and Nicole

Spotted Sea Trout (also known as Speckled Trout) is a pretty fish full of color and its meat is delicate, sweet, light and flaky. Basically, delicious.

We’ve probably all had that tasty dish called “Trout Amandine” — the fish cooked in butter until crispy, then topped with lemon and toasted/slivered almonds.  For my dish, I wanted to capture flavors of that classic recipe, but add a little freshness, too.

The crust that I topped the seared fish with combines breadcrumbs, basil, parsley, lemon, ground almonds and melted butter – a crunchy and tasty topping for this flaky Trout, but I’m sure would be equally good on just about any fresh fish.  I served it with zucchini noodles (a.k.a. “zoodles”) with corn, tomatoes and basil.  My husband rated it a 10 on the ‘Coudal Scale’ – a winner.

P.S. if you like fish topped with tasty, crunchy toppings, try this one with Panko, parmesan and butter 🙂

Trout with Lemon & Basil Herb Crust
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


This flavorful combo of the flavors of Trout Amandine, is perfect when transformed into a coating for fish.
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Seafood
Serves: 2

For the Herb Crust
  • ¼ c. whole or slivered almonds, toasted & ground
  • ½ c. fresh bread crumbs* (or Panko)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tb. unsalted butter, melted (or 1 Tb. butter + 1 Tb. olive oil)
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the Fish:
  • 2 Trout fillets (or any white, flaky fish)
  • 1 Tb. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tb. olive oil

Make the Herb Crust:
  1. Toss almonds into non-stick skillet and toast them on LOW heat until fragrant (approx. 5-6 mins.).
  2. Remove from stove top and allow to cool about 10 mins.
  3. Add almonds to food processor and pulse several times until you have a finely ground texture.
  4. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Prepare the Fish:
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a non-stick/oven proof skillet to medium/high heat.
  3. Add butter and olive oil.
  4. Lightly sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.
  5. Place fillets in hot skillet. Allow to sit about 2 minutes, until edges get crispy, then flip.
  6. Top each fillet with the herb mixture (really pack it on there!).
  7. Place the skillet in the oven and allow fish to finish cooking - about 2-3 minutes, so topping also browns.
  8. Remove from oven and serve.

To make fresh breadcrumbs, toss 2 pieces of white bread into a food processor and pulse until course crumbs form.


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