Trout and Salmon with a Basil Aioli and Asparagus, Top Chef Season 2


Michael Midgley’s winning recipe from Episode 9 when chefs had to use one of the seven deadly sins for inspiration.

Fish and Asparagus:

  • 6-ounce Trout fillet
  • 4-ounce Salmon fillet
  • 1 Plum Tomato, cut into six wedges
  • 4 Basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 spears of Asparagus, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 1 Portobello Mushroom cap, cut into large pieces
  • 4 Button Mushrooms, cut in half
  • 4 Shiitake Mushrooms, cut into large pieces
  • 1 stick of Butter
  • 1 cup Cream
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Basil Aioli:

  • 3 cups Olive Oil
  • 1 small bunch of Basil, leaves picked and stems discarded


For the fish and asparagus:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place tomato wedges in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 basil leaves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until it begins to caramelize and turn dark in color. Remove from oven and set aside.

Fill a medium bowl with ice water and set it aside.

Fill a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the asparagus. Cook for 30-45 seconds until asparagus turns bright green.

Remove asparagus from boiling water with a slotted spoon and transfer immediately to the ice water. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until cool. Remove from ice water and pat dry.

Sprinkle trout and salmon with salt and pepper. Using two sizes of round cookie cutters, cut fish fillets into circles, using the smaller cutter for the trout.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add fish circles and cook until flesh is firm and opaque.

Remove fish from pan, cover and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons butter and remaining olive oil to the skillet. Cook until butter is melted.

Add mushrooms and stir well to combine. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium low heat. Add cream and thyme. Continue to cook until cream is warm, stirring occasionally. Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste. Cover and set aside.

For the Basil Aioli:

Combine oil and basil in a blender. Puree until very smooth, about 5 minutes.

Strain into a medium bowl through a fine mesh sieve.

Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.

To serve: Divide mushrooms between plates, spreading into a thin layer in the center of each plate. Arrange asparagus on mushroom mixture. Top with one piece of each fish.

Drizzle cream sauce over trout and place roasted tomato between the two fish. Drizzle with Basil Aioli and serve immediately.

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