The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

First Salad, with Rainbow Trout

May 2nd, 2009 · No Comments · Posted in garden, Recipes


salad5109-004At last, we are making our own salad from the garden again.

I take a lazy approach to growing salad greens. As soon as the soil can be worked in the spring I add a little compost and scatter seeds for a variety of greens and lettuces. One narrow bed was devoted to arugula, mizuna, spinach, tat soi and red mustard. In another bed, I sectioned off small areas for a generous variety of leaf lettuces. Somehow I manage to collect a trove of them amongst my seed packets, especially the ones with tantalizing names: Australian Yellow Leaf, Black Seeded Simpson, Drunken Woman, Ruby, Forellenschluss, Red Dear Tongue, Oak Leaf.

I deeply admire people who start heading lettuces in seed cells and plant them out so neatly in the garden. Lacking a greenhouse or grow lights, I just scatter seeds and let nature take its course. No one but me has to look at the tangles of lettuces that result. But these are what we call “cut and come again” lettuces, meaning you just attack with a pair of scissors and harvest what you need. The plants grow back into solid masses of greens.

We will be eating from these beds into the summer. When the greens go to seed, they simply find their way into the compost heap. (Perhaps the gardener will make a more concerted effort this year to save some of his own seed.)

As you can see from the photo, this variety of baby brassicas and colorful leaf lettuces makes a striking salad. The young brassicas–arugula, mizuna, mustard–definitely add some zest as well as visual interest. But this is only the beginning of possibilities, there are so many different greens to choose from. Simply give them a good wash, drain well and dress with your favorite vinaigrette.

Last night we came home from the Whole Foods with some farm-raised trout fillets. With our home-grown salad and a glass of chardonnay, the trout made an easy spring dinner.


Recipe: Baked Trout with Parmesan

Summary: Trout, farm-raised in the U.S., cooks in no time in the oven


  1. white wine
  2. 4 trout fillets (a bit less than a pound)
  3.  butter
  4.  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5.  grated Parmesan cheese


  1. pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cover the bottom of a Pyrex baking dish with white wine.
  3. Spread fish fillets in casserole.
  4. Dot fish with butter.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place in oven and bake until fish is cooked through, about 7 minutes.
  7. Distribute fillets onto warm plates and sauce with pan drippings of wine and butter. Dust generously with Parmesan and serve immediately with salad on the side.

CulinaryTradition: USA (General)

My rating: 4.0 stars

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