Which Fish are Safe to Eat?

I love seafood but I worry about which fish are safe to eat.  Wild is better than farmed, right? Or, is it the other way around?  I know that the oceans are over-fished and that the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch attempts to help consumers make good choices by producing a list of fish that are sustainably raised. For years I used to keep their little booklet in my wallet and then eventually I downloaded their app onto my phone when it became available. But, the point is, there is a lot to keep in mind when choosing to buy fish.

Verlasso at Harmon’s

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to an event held at the downtown Harmon’s Grocery store. As an aside, if you have not been to this locally-owned grocery in the heart of Salt Lake City please go check it out. The food selection and quality are magnificent. Harmon’s and Verlasso wanted to introduce Verlasso salmon to the Salt Lake’s fish-loving community.


First a little background about Verlasso, in 2013 the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program added Verlasso as the first producer of farm-raised salmon to the ‘approved’.  Verlasso raises their salmon in Patagonia which has an ideal environment for farming. You can read more about their story here.


Time for Tapas

We were ushered upstairs to lovely space on the cafe level where high tables were set up and Harmon’s chefs and fishmongers were busy preparing and serving tapas using Verlasso salmon. Our favorite tapa was the za’atar-spiced salmon with fennel and orange salad. We loved that each large cube of salmon was coated in za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) and then quickly sauteed for a few minutes. The chefs plated the salmon on dollops of spicy harissa and cilantro yogurt sauce. Finally, the tapa was garnished with sweet, crisp fennel and orange salad placed on top. So good.  I may have gone back for seconds. No, I unabashedly went back for seconds and considered thirds but occasionally decorum dictates my behavior.


Our second favorite tapa was the salmon tartare with spicy sesame and avocado (recipe forthcoming!). This one is a perfect appetizer to accompany drinks for happy hour or a kicked up snack for game day. The chefs cut the salmon into small cubes and dressed it with lime, shallots, ginger, avocado, and crushed pink peppercorns. You could serve the tartare with tortilla chips or rice crackers and it would be delicious! I did go back and tell the chef I was getting a second ‘for my friend’. I am certain that I will make my own version of this tapa because it was so good.

Finally, there was a brief talk from Verlasso’s Culinary Director thanking everyone for attending and making sure that we picked up a complimentary copy of their cookbook and a piece of salmon to take home. Also of note, Harmon’s fishmonger was on site filleting the salmon which went into the swag bag. That’s fresh!

Where to Find Verlasso

If you live in Utah, Verlasso salmon is available at Harmon’s grocery stores. To see where you can buy Verlasso salmon in other states check out the map.