Sauteed Whole Trout with Sage and White Wine

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 15m

Serves 4

The garnish of fried sage leaves makes a delectable crisp treat, but of course the trout is still good without it. You can usually sauté four small trout at the same time in a large frying pan, but if they're crowded, cook the fish in two pans or two batches.
WINE RECOMMENDATION: Farm-raised trout are mild, so a pinot grigio or pinot bianco from northeastern Italy will make a superb accompaniment. A gamier wild fish can use a stronger wine such as a chardonnay.


  • 4 trout (about 3/4 pound each), cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter
  • Salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • About 36 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine


Rinse the fish and dry the surface and the cavity of each thoroughly with paper towels. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil with 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderately high heat. Sprinkle the trout with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put the trout in the pan and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the second side and just done, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Remove; wipe out the pan.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Alternatively, add the dried sage and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour the oil and sage over the fish. Wipe out the pan.

Add the wine to the pan. Boil until reduced to approximately 3 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in any accumulated juices and oil from the trout. Pour the sauce around the fish and serve.

Tip: For a creamy emulsified sauce, stir the cold butter around the pan over the lowest possible heat using a whisk. This way, the butter softens into a sauce instead of melting into a puddle.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 3022

nutrition information per serving

585 calories; 37g total fat; 321mg cholesterol; 200mg sodium; 0g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 57g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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