Trout in parchment with warm date and apricot salad

Paleo, Gluten Free, Soy Free

2 Servings, 680 Calories/Serving

20 Minutes

As a cooking vessel, parchment paper is a cook’s best friend. It leaves one less pot to clean, and when you sit down to eat, you feel like you got a gift for dinner. Here, quick-cooking trout fillets steam until flaky, wrapped with spinach and lemon slices. The easy date and apricot salad lends the dish a distinct North African flavor. For a strictly paleo version, steam the fish with a little olive oil instead of butter.


  • Two 6-ounce trout fillets
  • 1 to 2 shallots
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sheets parchment paper
  • ¼ pound baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1½ ounces dried apricots
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 1½ ounces roasted almonds
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sumac



Prep the trout, shallot, and lemon

Heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Pat the trout fillets dry with a paper towel. Cut them in half crosswise. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Peel and thinly slice the shallot.
  • Zest the lemon. Cut half into 4 thin slices; juice the remaining half.


Assemble the packets

Lay the parchment paper sheets side by side. Divide the spinach and shallots between the 2 sheets and season with salt and pepper. Top with the trout pieces and lemon slices. Dot each with 1 tablespoon butter (or 2 teaspoons oil).
Working with 1 sheet at a time, bring 2 opposite sides of the parchment to the center and fold them together several times to create a tight seam. Fold up each end several times to form a tight seal.


Bake the packets

Place the packets on a sheet pan, sealed sides up, and bake until the parchment is puffed and browned and the trout is tender when pierced with a skewer or sharp knife, 12 to 15 minutes. While the trout cooks, make the date and apricot salad.


Prep the date and apricot salad

  • Coarsely chop the dried apricots.
  • Thinly slice the dates.
  • Coarsely chop the almonds.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.


Warm the salad

In a pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the apricots, almonds, and dates and cook just until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon zest and juice, the parsley, and sumac; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.



Open the trout packets, careful of any venting steam. Transfer the packets to individual plates. Spoon the date and apricot salad alongside and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 680, Protein: 38 g, Total Fat: 40 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 25.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 90 mg, Carbohydrates: 48 g, Fiber: 9 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 480 mg

Contains: fish, milk, tree nuts

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