Lake to Plate – Pacific Northwest Cooking: Rainbow Trout With Creamed Spinach

We spent Summer Solstice at Callaghan lake. Sparkling water, snow capped mountains and (almost) no one around. We’re so lucky to have easy access to so many stunning places here in B.C.; mountains, valleys, the pacific ocean, old growth forests and lakes.

Callaghan Lake is nestled in the Callaghan Valley, a popular hiking and skiing destination between Vancouver and Whistler. The road to the lake is paved most of the way but there is an 8km stretch of very rough dirt road with large holes only a truck can clear.

Callaghan is a high elevation alpine lake and although they’d predicted a hot day in the city, we were shocked to see snow everywhere. It looked more like March than June.

We spent the afternoon exploring the rocky bays and treed isles around the lake and just floating enjoying the sunshine with the snow capped peaks of Black Tusk and Mount Callaghan surrounding us. Late in the afternoon my husband caught a Rainbow Trout. I was hoping we’d get a catch as I’d already planned a meal with it. I’d cook it with creamed spinach and homemade Garlic Focaccia Bread. This is the meal I made.

Pan Fried Rainbow Trout


1 Trout cleaned and sliced lengthwise

1/2 a lemon

Garlic Powder

coarse salt to taste

cooking oil (I use coconut for high heat) or garlic butter


Sprinkle the inside of the trout with coarse salt and garlic powder. Place a pan on high heat and add oil/ garlic butter. Add the trout on the hot pan and fry for about 3 minutes sprinkling skin with a little extra salt . Add 1/2 a sliced lemon to the pan to coat the pan with lemon juice; this will give the trout extra flavour. Flip trout over and fry for another few minutes and set aside until you’re ready to serve.

Creamed Spinach


  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 bags of Spinach (makes 2-3 servings)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese to taste (about 4 Tablespoons)
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the butter to a hot pan and add the onion (you may need to put the heat down to medium so the onions don’t burn).
  • Saute the onion for 2-3 minutes or until soft.
  •  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of flour over the cooked onions and butter.  Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the milk and cream to the mixture, whisk to prevent any lumps.
  • Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg
  • Add the spinach to the pan a handful at a time and stir until the spinach is wilted.
  • adjust the flavour if needed with extra salt and pepper. I sprinkled a bit of garlic and onion powder on it.

Garlic Focaccia Bread


1 whole head of garlic roasted in the oven – cut the top of the garlic head, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil and bake in the oven wrapped in foil for about 30 – 45 minutes at 400 degrees.


  1. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil into a square or rectangular tray to grease (9″x13″ aprox.)
  2. Combine all of the Dough ingredients + the roasted garlic and knead for at least 2 minutes wetting your hands with water to keep the dough nice and sticky.
  3. Scoop the dough into the greased pan, cover the pan with a dish towel, and let it rise at room temperature for at least an hour.
  4. Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375°
  5. Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger. 
  6. Drizzle the dough with the rest of the olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt salt and chopped rosemary. I added fresh picked rosemary from my garden. You can use dried as well as oregano if you like.
  7. Bake the bread for 30 minutes then broil for a few minutes to crisp the top nice and brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Served warm is best and cut into large squares.

Serve creamed spinach in a bowl. Top with trout and sliced focaccia on the side. Next time I’d love to make this over the fire right next to the lake… with all the snow on the banks though we had to get out quickly.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry today. Until next time.



#PacificNorthwest #cooking #comfortfood #Fishing #Whistler #easyrecipes #Vancouver #Canada

One Comment Add yours

  1. Seth says:

    Fresh trout is always the best

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