A Spring Trout Recipe

I’ll be perfectly honest. I don’t enjoy trout all that much. I release most of my trout and prefer to smoke the ones that I keep. But my daughter likes to keep her trout so I’ve been experimenting with some recipes that deviate a bit from the norm.

I’m not sure exactly what to call this recipe, but “trout, wild leek and day lily tart” is simple and descriptive, so it will do. The inspiration for this was scrambled eggs with lox but I wanted to add something else to round it out a bit. Since I came up with this in early May it seemed logical to incorporate some spring flavors and, since the trout were wild caught, some foraged ingredients were all the more appropriate.

Wild leeks, also known as “ramps” (personally, I despise the word “ramps”- I don’t know why, I just do. So I call them “wild leeks”) have become quite trendy of late and every foodie (another word I hate, and I don’t consider myself to be one) worth a nickel gets quite excited about them and as such, they have started to become more main-stream and can sometimes be found in retail locations. But day lily will likely never become the darling of food enthusiasts. Most people don’t even know it’s edible. I mostly focus on the young shoots which is what I used in this recipe although other parts are edible as well. The shoots certainly aren’t bad but they aren’t abundant in flavor which will probably keep them off the radar of those who think far too highly of their own gastronomic prowess. Day lily shoots should be cut more or less flush with the ground when they are no taller than about 12″. The shorter they are the more tender they’ll be. Give them a good wash before cooking and do the same with the leeks. Alright… on with the recipe.


Three spring time ingredients: Trout, day lily and wild leeks

Trout, wild leek and day lily tart

  • Two whole trout, about 10″ each
  • One handful wild leeks, leaves and bulbs
  • One handful day lily shoots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • oil for frying/sauteing


  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water (about)
  • dash salt

For the filling pan fry the trout in oil until flaky. Let cool, remove bones and skin and set aside. Chop the leeks and day lily into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Saute in the same pan as the trout, adding more oil as needed. Add salt and pepper. Cook until tender and wilted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add cream cheese, mixing/folding until melted and incorporated. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with milk/cream. Add the egg mix to the leeks and day lily and add the trout. Mix until combined.

For the crust, combine the flour, salt and lard in a mixing bowl and work with a pastry blender. When the lard is thoroughly incorporated add the egg and a small amount of the water and continue to blend. Add more water as needed until the dough can be formed into a cohesive ball.

Roll the dough into a circle or press into the bottom of a tart pan being sure to work the crust up the sides. Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the crust starts to brown and the filling is set. Let cool and slice into wedges.


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