Serious Eats: Recipes

Smoked Trout, Potato, and Endive Salad

Every once in awhile, I'll pull out a Thomas Keller cookbook and try to figure out a way to make one of his recipes work for this column, with its limited amount of time and ingredients. Usually, the way to do it is by taking just a little less care with each step—cooking the potatoes in salted water, rather than creating a court bouillon, and simplifying the flavors only slightly.

Though I respect the kind Keller's perfection, most of the recipes are so good in themselves that they're still spectacular in their simplified states.

That's definitely true of this smoked trout salad from Bouchon, which makes a creamy, lemony vinaigrette for the flaked fish, brightens it with fresh herbs, and pairs the flavors against the bitterness of the endives. The potatoes are the perfect vehicle for carrying the smokiness of the trout.

I actually made this for a party, serving the trout mixture on little scoops of endive, then followed Keller's lead to turn it into a salad by slicing the endives cross-wise and tossing everything together. It's a stunning salad, subtle and perfectly balanced. And just as good for lunch the next day.

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