Joanna and I have recently started working our way back into fishing, something I used to do a lot of growing up, and on/off ever since. As a teenager, I spent a lot of days riding my bike to a railroad bridge about 5 miles from my house to fish and watch trains; I also did a fair bit of fishing while camping and canoeing on various family trips. We’ve been having fun getting back into the habit as a quick way to take a break while potentially producing something worthwhile.
We had a great meal recently which really highlighted both the taste of truly fresh fish and all the seasonal items we have to complement it right now. We brought home six bluegills from Lick Creek Conservation Area, a nice, quiet, wooded impoundment just a few miles away. After cleaning these up, I preheated the oven to 450 while melting some butter with chopped tarragon and chives. When the oven was ready, I put a bit of oil in two glass baking dishes, arranged the fish, sprinkled with salt, and drizzled on the butter mixture. I then baked the fish for about 9 minutes until they were flaky but still moist.
Served on a bed of fresh lettuce with the butter/herb sauce drizzled on, these were fantastic (if bony). The rest of the meal (not pictured) featured a salad of our fresh greens and radishes and fresh-made bread with our strawberry jam. This was a really easy meal to do with the fresh chives, tarragon, lettuce, and radishes on hand, all of which we sell at the market. If you’re not into fishing, it would be a great way to serve Troutdale’s fresh spring-raised trout or any other fish. Come by the stand on Saturday and try it yourself!