Roasted Trout with Herbs and Summer Squash 

I remember the first summer that Adrian and I grew squash back at our community garden when we lived in San Jose. To say the plant grew abundantly and thrived is an understatement!

Our squash story is simple and predictable, but it goes like this: Mid-summer, we left our garden alone for about a week so we could visit friends and family in Southern California. When we left town, the zucchini were too small to use up in a recipe, so we decided to let them grow a little more.

When we returned home, however, the zucchini were unrecognizable! Their growth was so freakish that each zucchini (and there were a lot!) had to have weighed at least 1.5 to 2 pounds. Some were 3 pounds. Adrian and I just looked at each other with equal parts amazement and bafflement. How did this happen? How are we going to use up all of this zucchini?

I'll just say that we made a lot of zucchini soup that year, and I honestly think I still need a break from that recipe! Since that summer, we learned to plant...less squash (!) in general, to harvest it much sooner, and to add squash blossoms to our meals to keep the crop yield down a bit.

This summer, it's yellow squash that's driving us up the wall. I swear that we blink and the squash double in size. While they're hard to keep up with, we can't really complain that we have so many vegetables at our fingertips.

So what's a yellow squash recipe that I can't get enough of in summer, even if I'm nearly squashed-out? This roasted trout recipe! It is so simple, so quick and easy, and so healthy! It's bright like summer and will leave you, your family, and your garden very, very happy!

Roasted Trout with Herbs and Summer Squash

Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

1 lb medium summer squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, sliced ½-inch thick
1/3 cup chives, roughly chopped
3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bunch tarragon leaves
1 small bunch thyme leaves, roughly chopped
4 (6 oz) trout fillets
1/8 tsp fennel pollen
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of ½ lemon

Preheat oven to 450F.In a large mixing bowl, add zucchini, chives, tomatoes, and garlic. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and set aside. Add tarragon and thyme to a small bowl and lightly brush with olive oil.

Line a large baking sheet with foil and add trout to the center, skin-side down. Season the trout with fennel pollen, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the tarragon and thyme on top of the fish. Scatter zucchini mixture around the edges and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over the fish and the vegetables.

Bake the fish for 10 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145F.



Grilled Red Snapper and Clams in a Lovestuff Tomatillo Broth

I have a confession to make: I'm absolutely enamored with a hot sauce called Lovestuff. 

I first realized I was over the moon about the sauce when I developed a fierce determination to make recipes that incorporated its flavors to take my dishes to another level of goodness.

My borderline obsession with Lovestuff can be solely attributed to Ground Up Flavor's founder, Maurice Tyms, who sent me a couple bottles to try out last year for free to see if I liked it, and to encourage me to get creative with its flavors.

I knew before tasting Lovestuff that I would enjoy the spicy green nectar from its sexy name and label alone. Not surprisingly, I used up almost the entire bottle on my typical breakfast of eggs with English muffins in less than a week upon opening. With one bottle left for serious food business, I knew I needed to get busy in the kitchen with a recipe so I could continue my new breakfast hot sauce ritual.

Unfortunately, my schedule didn't permit a lot of time for recipe development. Knowing that this tempting, unopened bottle of hot sauce was sitting behind my kitchen cupboard for several months was difficult to say the least. But my natural patient attitude allowed me to survive this feat until I had time to develop a high quality recipe that may even get featured in one of Maurice's cookbook projects. Nice!

Now that it's Spring and I have a little more time in my schedule, I wanted to make something that is healthy, bright, and that would pair well with the flavors of Lovestuff. What could be healthier and brighter than snapper with clams in a tomatillo broth? Not much, in my opinion.

To take this Mexican-influenced seafood recipe to an even higher level, I added a frisee salad on top with a little bit of Lovestuff incorporated. It's so all so wonderfully edible and perfect for a fancy weekend dinner. The grilled red snapper is such a treat, and the clams in a mildly spicy broth of Lovestuff? Mmm, mmm, it's so complete!

Grilled Red Snapper and Clams in a Lovestuff Tomatillo Broth

Active Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 2 Hours 

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
6 whole garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 large jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1 lb tomatillos (about 8 medium) husked, rinsed and halved
1 ½ cups dry white wine, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
½ cup heavy ream
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp Lovestuff Five Pepper Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
4 rainbow carrots, peeled, cut into ¼”-thick rounds
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 red jalapeno, seeded, sliced thin
1 tbsp butter
2 lbs clams, rinsed and scrubbed

Frisee Salad
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lime
Zest of 1 lime
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp Lovestuff Five Pepper Sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups frisee, trimmed
½ cup jicama, peeled, julienned
4 tomatillos, halved, thinly sliced
1 medium vine ripe tomato, cut into thin strips
¼ bunch cilantro leaves
1 red jalapeno, seeded, julienned

Red Snapper
4 (6 oz) red snapper fillets, pin bones removed, patted dry
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Finish
Cilantro leaves

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, jalapeno, and tomatillos over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring for 6-8 minutes, until softened.

Add 1 cup white wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is nearly evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Add chicken stock, heavy cream, sugar, Lovestuff, lime juice, half the carrots, chipotle pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cook until reduced by 1/3, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and add the sauce to a blender with cilantro. Puree until smooth. Let sit for one hour to allow the flavors to meld. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

Meanwhile, add olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, Lovestuff, and sugar to a large bowl. Whisk to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add frisee, jicama, tomatillos, tomato, cilantro, and jalapeno. Toss vegetables and dressing to combine. 

Lightly coat snapper fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook snapper skin-side down in a hot grill pan or in large heavy bottomed skillet for 2 minutes. Then cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Return tomatillo sauce with ½ cup white wine to the same skillet with remaining carrots, red jalapeno, and butter and heat over medium heat. Add clams and cover until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open.  

Serve sauce on plates and top with clams. Plate snapper over clams and sauce, and garnish with the salad and cilantro leaves. Enjoy!



Steelhead Trout with Fiddleheads and Ramps

You know what I get really geeky excited about? Ingredients that are only available seasonally! 

Living in California, I’m fortunate in that I can eat a lot of fruits and vegetables year-round. My Whole Foods Market in San Francisco probably looks a whole lot different than the NYC Whole Foods in February.

But when it comes to foods that I can only eat once a year for a few months, I’m extremely grateful for that opportunity. Every time.

This week, fiddleheads and ramps are officially in season! Fiddleheads are ferns that grow wild in California. They’re tasty. Some compare them to asparagus, but I wouldn’t really say the texture or flavor are too similar. You’ll just have to try them for yourself to find out! They are definitely their own unique thing. 

Do note that you’re not supposed to eat fiddleheads raw because they can cause some stomach upset. They’re also WILD, so they actually need to be cleaned really well too. 

As for the ramps, a.k.a. wild leeks, they’re very similar to green onions in flavor, but leafier, and a lot more fun to cook with. Yum.

So this week, I've prepared steelhead trout with fiddleheads and ramps. And you want to know what my favorite part about this recipe is, besides it just being extremely healthy? That someone actually went out into the forest to forage all of these wild ingredients for me. I love it! Spring is such a great time of year.

Steelhead Trout with Fiddleheads and Ramps

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4


8oz fiddlehead ferns, washed thoroughly
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (24 oz) steelhead trout fillet
2 bunches ramps, about ½ lb, trimmed
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp melted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
¼ cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon Rice
2 tbsp butter
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
Lemon pepper, to taste
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Preheat broiler.

Bring a medium pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add fiddleheads and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and add to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth, lemon juice, zest, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff rice with a fork, stirring in lemon pepper and parsley. Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, season trout with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Add steelhead, skin-side down, to the center of a foil-lined baking sheet. On a second foil-lined baking sheet, add ramps and coat with olive oil and salt to taste.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter with garlic, capers, rosemary, lemon juice, zest, and white wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour half of the lemon mixture over the steelhead.

In another mixing bowl, add blanched fiddleheads. Combine with remaining lemon mixture. Scatter fiddleheads around the fish.

Broil trout in the top third of the oven and the ramps on a lower rack for 5 minutes. Transfer trout to the lower rack and bake at 325F for 10 more minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the ramps are lightly browned and crisp.    

Portion trout into four even fillets and divide between plates with fiddleheads and ramps. Serve with lemon rice. 

If you like fish as much as I do, you should definitely check out my recipes for Hoisin Glazed Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms Salmon in Galangal-Tomato Compote, and Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Sautéed Greens!



Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Sautéed Greens

Is this salmon with beurre blanc and sautéed greens a sexy dish, or what?

I recently learned how to make lemon confit, which I now know is an easy and exciting way to add flavor to your meals! I made a whole batch of it by slowly simmering finely sliced lemon rinds in olive oil and sugar. Then I let the flavors meld overnight and added the contents to a mason jar. When I woke up in the morning to try it, I was astounded. Lemon confit makes for such a tasty and simple way to add flavor to your dishes. If you don’t feel like making lemon confit (not sure why you wouldn’t), it’s easily purchased online or at your local gourmet grocer.

The salmon dish as a whole is incredible. There are a few steps, but they’re all very easy. In 45 minutes, you’ll have plated some amazing French-inspired cuisine, impressed your friend or spouse, and will have saved a few dollars cooking at home instead of dining out at a fancy French restaurant!

Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Sautéed Greens

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4

3 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into 3-inch pieces
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, torn into 3-inch pieces
2 tbsp lemon confit, finely sliced, or lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6 oz) center-cut salmon fillets, skin on
7 tbsp butter, divided
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup vermouth
4 lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Finely mince garlic, running the knife blade over the garlic a few times to mince further. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the mince and continue to alternate between mincing and running the knife over the garlic until you have formed a fine paste. 

Heat 1 tsbp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic paste and chili flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the kale, chard, 3 tbsp water, and cook, stirring until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in lemon confit, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Keep warm.

Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add salmon fillets and briefly press down with a spatula to ensure even searing. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes, without moving the fish. Add 3 tbsp butter to the pan and allow to melt. Spoon butter over salmon for 30 seconds, then transfer skillet to oven, basting the fish with a spoon every 3 minutes, until the thickest part of the salmon is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a small skillet, bring shallots and vermouth to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the sauce has thickened, leaving a bit of vermouth in the pan. Remove from heat.

To the same pan, stir in 1 tbsp of butter at a time until each cube is fully melted. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and remove from heat. Strain the beurre blanc into a bowl over a fine-mesh strainer to remove shallots. 

Serve salmon on plates and ladle a tablespoon of beurre blanc over each fillet. Serve with sautéed greens and lemon wedges.



Pan-Fried Salmon over Broccolini and Farro Served with a Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

I'm all about simple elegant dishes and this salmon with broccolini is really superb. I adapted a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, One Pan, Two Plates, and am not sure how I hadn't cooked this one yet! The use of garam masala, yogurt, and almonds makes for a lovely flavor profile, and I really, really love broccolini. What else do I love? Oh right, farro, whose carbs balance out the protein from the salmon and whose texture brings out the best of everything. If you're going to make this recipe, be sure to anticipate some serious omega-3 weeknight deliciousness! 

Pan-Fried Salmon over Broccolini and Farro Served with a Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4
Adapted from Carla Snyder's One Pan, Two Plates

1 cup farro, rinsed and drained
4 (6 oz) skin-on salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garam masala, divided
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 medium bunches broccolini, about 1 lb
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsbp lemon juice
1 tsbsp fresh mint leaves, minced
25 toasted almonds, chopped

In a medium saucepan, add farro and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess water. Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, pat the salmon fillets dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp garam masala. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add broccolini and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, and drain.

Heat 1 tsbp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccolini, 1/4 tsp salt, garlic, ginger, and remaining 1/2 tsp garam masala. Season with pepper. Cook until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute. Set broccolini aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and place fish, skin-side down. Cook the fish without moving for 3 minutes. Flip the fish over with a thin-edged spatula, add the wine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the fish for 4 minutes. Add broccolini back to the pan, nestling salmon on top. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes, covered.

While the fish and broccolini sit, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, and mint. Season with salt and pepper. 

Divide the farro between four plates, arranging the fish and broccolini on top, spooning over any excess juices. Drizzle salmon with yogurt sauce and almonds and serve immediately.

Salmon Burger with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Caperberries

I love salmon so much and this salmon burger with chipotle mayonnaise and caperberries is no exception! Wouldn't you rather have omega-3s than saturated fat in your burger? Yup, me too! While a hamburgers are fine on occasion, packing fish, lean protein, and/or veggies in the middle of a whole wheat bun is always the best choice. And you know what? Doing so hits the spot just the same!

Salmon Burger with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Caperberries

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4
Adapted from Food Network Kitchen

1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 4 brioche buns, split
Chipotle mayonnaise
1/4 red onion, sliced into thin rounds
3 cups arugula, stemmed

Cut three-quarters of the salmon into 1/4-inch pieces. Put in a large bowl. Cut the rest of the salmon into chunks; transfer the chunks to a food processor along with the mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and cayenne. Pulse to make a paste.

Add the pureed salmon mixture to the bowl with the diced salmon. Add the scallions, 2 tablespoons panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Gently mix until just combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 mounds on the parchment paper. With damp hands, pat into 4-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-thick patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Spread the remaining 1 cup panko on a plate. Press both sides of the salmon patties in the panko. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties (in batches if necessary) and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Turn and cook until the other side is browned and the patties feel springy in the center, 3 to 4 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt.

Meanwhile, arrange the buns, cut-side up, on a broiler pan and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the patties on the buns; top with chipotle mayonnaise, red onions, and arugula.

Start your week off rich in Omega-3s with this recipe for Halibut with Zucchini, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Get your week off to a good start with a lovely serving of Omega-3s! The FDA recommends consuming two servings of seafood per week to boost heart and brain health, which means that it’s not a bad idea to start eating fish earlier in the week so that you can plan your next fish dish before the week is over. And if you’re like me, you can always double up your recipe so that you can dive into more omega-3s for lunch the next day. How is that for fantastic?

Because I’ve been eating a lot of salmon, tuna, and black cod recently, I decided this time to opt for halibut. While halibut is admittedly less rich in omega-3s than the latter, one 6-oz portion is still going to net about 900mg of omega-3s, which is still considerable. So if you find yourself growing tired of seafood highest in omega-3s, don’t hesitate to choose an option in the middle range, like halibut. I think that adding diverse foods to your diet is best, especially because it will lessen your chance for boredom!

Before you dive into meal planning for the delicious recipe below, check out the list made by Seafood Health Facts that details the omega-3 content of various types of fish.


Halibut with Zucchini, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4

2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped (reserving 2 tsbp oil)
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pits removed, and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Four (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Add zucchini and salt to a medium boil and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse, drain, and pat zucchini dry.

Arrange 4 long pieces of foil on a work surface and brush each piece of foil lightly with a little of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil.

Add sun-dried tomatoes and remaining oil to a small bowl with cilantro and olives, and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange your zucchini over each piece of foil by overlapping slices about the same size and shape of each fish fillet. Top zucchini with half of the sun-dried tomato mixture. Arrange fish over vegetables and top with remaining sun-dried tomato mixture. Seal each fillet with foil by folding into packets. Set on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the fish has cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 145F.

Carefully open each packet and transfer to serving plates. Enjoy!

Poached Black Cod with Butter Beans and Brussels Sprouts


For those of us who love to cook, weekday meals are usually a bit quicker than those on the weekend. Because of that, we sometimes miss out on delicious flavors that take time to develop. Not so with this meal!

Whether you’ve had a hum-drum Monday at work or stayed late on a Thursday to finish up your busy day, you will have time to make this healthy omega-3 packed recipe. The fish broth that develops in ten minutes from poaching the fish is so delicate that you’ll feel as if you’re eating like royalty at a high-end restaurant, when in fact, you’ve saved a few dollars, and you’re sitting comfortably at your dinner table, which is no doubt one of the best places you can be!


Poached Black Cod with Butter Beans and Brussels Sprouts

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

1 tbsp lemon zest
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp minced chives
4 6-oz black cod fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
30 Brussels sprouts, quartered and cored
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can butter beans

In a small bowl, make a gremolata by stirring together lemon zest, garlic, and chives.

Pat the fillets dry and season with salt and pepper and half of the gremolata.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for 1 minute. Add the Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and sautee until brussels sprouts turn bright green, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Carefully ladle fillets into broth. Cover the skillet and cook until fish is cooked through and the sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes.

While fish poaches, heat beans in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Lightly mash beans with the back of a fork and divide between deep plates or bowls. Serve fish over beans in a deep plate or bowl, and ladle in broth. Garnish with gremolata and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Asparagus


This is probably the most simple fish recipe that my husband and I make. It’s one of those meals where if we haven’t planned what’s for dinner and we’re on our way home for work, we know we have half of the items on hand (hoisin and rice) and the rest we can grab in less than 10 minutes at the local market.

This recipe will work with other fatty fish like black cod, which means that you’re going to get one of your two servings of fatty fish a week recommended by the American Heart Association. If you make extra and eat this for lunch the next day, you’ve already met that goal! How simple is that?


Hoisin Glazed Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Asparagus

Serves 4
Total Time 20 Minutes

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
4 (4 oz) salmon filets
1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
Steamed rice (short or medium-grain), to serve

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat broiler.

Mix hoisin sauce and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Place fish, skin-side down, on a foil-lined baking pan and spread sauce over the top.

Toss asparagus, mushrooms, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Scatter vegetables evenly around fish.

Broil, stirring vegetables once, until they are tender and fish is cooked through and opaque, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness.

Slide a spatula between the skin and the fish; discard skin. Divide fish among individual plates. Serve with vegetables and steamed rice.