The timing of one of my favorite Spring treats is dependent upon how the fish are swimming upstream. Shad spends much of its life in saltwater but swims up into freshwater rivers to spawn. The female shad, heavy with eggs, is a fisherman's dream catch. My friend Rob hooked me up a few weeks ago with some gorgeous shad roe, already cleaned.
My father-in-law was in town and has fond memories of shad roe and eggs as a breakfast treat down on the shores of the Nansemond River near Chuckatuck. I lightly dusted the fragile lobes of eggs in cornmeal, salt and pepper and sauteed them in bacon fat until they were golden brown.
Shad roe has a texture more like a rich liver than fish, with a light taste of the sea. Six Burner's Philip Denny featured shad roe with a lemony arugula salad a few weeks ago that was a perfect complement.