Food & Drink

Georgia Trout With Salsa Verde

Serves 4

Simple, seasonal and just a bit exotic

Gone are the days when Latin American food meant chips, salsa, and cheese-sauced enchiladas in many parts of Dixie. Now, serious chefs across the country are looking south of the border for inspiration. And in Athens, Georgia, farm-to-table pioneer Hugh Acheson has teamed up with Whitney Otawka, a California native who ran the kitchen at shuttered local favorite Farm 255, to explore the flavors of the deep, deep South at Cinco y Diez.

Taking inspiration from cuisines across the Americas, as well as ever-changing supplies of local meats and produce, the dishes at Cinco y Diez follow a meandering course driven more by freshness and flavor than by any geographic boundaries. The spring menu marries hen of the woods mushrooms with chiles and garlic crema, grilled asparagus with potatoes and creamy Peruvian huancaína sauce, and Allan Benton’s famous country ham with refried beans, queso fresco, and roasted tomato salsa—on a torta, no less.

For a taste of the menu at home, try Otawka’s recipe for roast Georgia trout. Paired with a salsa verde made from bitter dandelion greens and a fava bean and hominy salad based on a traditional side dish from Ecuador, it’s simple, seasonal, and just a little bit exotic.




  • Georgia trout with fava beans, hominy, and dandelion salsa

    • 1 tbsp. olive oil

    • 1/2 cup fava beans, shucked and blanched

    • 1 cup canned hominy

    • 1/4 cup spring onion, minced

    • 1 tsp. roasted garlic, minced

    • 1/2 cup chicken stock

    • 1 tbsp. lime juice

    • 1 tbsp. butter

    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    • 5 tbsp. dandelion salsa verde, divided*

    • 1 tbsp. neutral cooking oil

    • 4 6 oz. trout fillets, preferably local

  • Dandelion salsa verde

    • 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 4 cups, loosely packed)

    • 7 cloves garlic, roasted

    • 1 cup olive oil

    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

    • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. For the trout:

    Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Then add fava beans, sauté for 1 minute, and add hominy, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Add chicken stock and lime juice, and continue to cook until reduced by half. Then add butter and salt, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp. dandelion salsa verde.

  2. Next, add neutral cooking oil to a large sauté pan over high heat. Get the oil very hot, and then carefully add the trout to the pan, skin-side down. Reduce heat to medium high, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the fish is about two-thirds cooked through. (Cooking time may vary with thickness.) Flip the fish and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  3. To serve, drizzle 1 tbsp. dandelion salsa verde over each plate. Add a heaping scoop of the hominy and fava bean mix, and top with one trout filet.

  4. For the salsa:

    Blanch dandelion greens. Then add greens, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to a blender. Puree, allowing it to remain slightly coarse. Refrigerate up to 2 days. (Makes 1 ½ cups)

Recipe from chef Whitney Otawka of Cinco y Diez in Athens, Georgia