Grilled rainbow trout is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s relatively easy to make and a very light, but satisfying entrée. When I say that grilling fresh trout is easy, I mean there are just a few things you have to consider and very few things to do with the fish, no matter what choices you make. First you have to consider what kind of fire you have in the grill. I almost always use wood chunks (apple or cherry) rather than charcoal. The smoky flavor it imparts is perfect for the delicate flavor of the trout. You can use plain charcoal or charcoal with smoking chips and get a somewhat different experience. The second decision involves foil or no foil. Using foil to wrap the fish for the grill yields a very moist dish (in fact, it’s more steamed than grilled). My own preference when I cook a grilled rainbow trout is to use one of those contraptions that look like an overgrown fly swatter. When it comes to stuffing trout for the grill, my only firm rule is thinly sliced lemon — two or three slices per fish. That, and a bit of salt and pepper are all you really need.
Prepare the grill and allow time to reach maximum heat. Rinse the trout under cold water and pat dry. (Remove heads if you prefer, and discard). Brush the fish inside and out with some olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and a twist or two of freshly ground pepper. For each fish, place two to three lemon slices, a teaspoon of fresh parsley and a tablespoon of thinly sliced scallions in the cavity of the cleaned fish.
Place the trout on the grill (using a fish basket, if you like) and cook until skin just begins to char and/or grill marks appear. Gently turn the fish and grill on the opposite side until skin begins to char and grill marks appear. Serve grilled rainbow trout immediately.