It's funny that I've lived in Madison almost half my life yet this weekend was the first time I've eaten fish out of the lakes. This is about the local-est source of protein I can imagine, and tasty too! My sweetheart Stanley is an avid fisherman, and he decided rather than buy dinner on Friday night, he would try and catch our meal. We went to this nice spot on Lake Mendota, and he proceeded to catch more than we could eat!

Here they are, chilling on ice. There were 13 or 14 in all - all bluegill. There is some concern about mercury levels in fish like these, but according to the Wisconsin DNR, it's safe to eat them for one meal a week.

Stanley did the dirty work, cutting off their heads, gutting them, and scaling them.

Here they are, clean and ready to go.

He dipped them in flour......

....and pan fried them in butter.

and here they are! There were some bones to contend with, but the fish was so white, flaky, and delicious that a few bones seemed totally worth it. We ate them with some local potato salad and a cucumber salad (yes, local cucumbers are starting to come in!). It made a wonderful Friday night dinner.

There were quite a few fishes left over, so I made a salad with them tonight and we ate it on top of lettuce from the garden and more of those delicious local cucumbers from JenEhr Farm. We've got so much lettuce and other greens coming out of the garden that I'll have to eat nothing but salad for the next few weeks if I have any hope of eating it all up. What a great problem to have!

Simple Fish Salad

6-8 small panfish, cooked and boned
Chopped walnuts
Chopped baby bok choy or other crunchy local vegetables

Combine all ingredients and stir well. This salad is delicious over lettuce!

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  1. Ryan Brock campbellJune 23, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    A little mercury never hurt anybody. We don't have that kind of problem out in California! Do we? Oh yeah...

  2. Mercury is everywhere. My engineer brother says it's in it's greatest concentrations in the most pristine places. It's a bummer, but I'm not going to let it stop me!


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