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.



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!