The Passionate Pursuit of Delight

Tag: utah

Verlasso Salmon at Harmon’s


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.


Will Walk for Wildflowers


I do my best thinking while I am walking. I always have. For this reason I try to get outside for a little while every single day of the year. But, it is summertime now and I love to take advantage of the cool mountain air when the temperatures are sweltering in the Salt Lake valley as they have been much of the last eight weeks.

Indian Paintbrush


Summer in the Wasatch Mountains is famous for the glorious display of wildflowers in the Albion Basin. A short drive from Salt Lake City up Little Cottonwood Canyon just past Alta Ski Resort you will see a gravel road which leads to the Cecret Lake trail head. Little Cottonwood Canyon is a watershed area so leave your furry friends at home.

Cecret LakeDuring weekends in July and August you will want to arrive early as this hike is very popular and traffic and parking can be frustrating. But, I recommend that you take advantage those long summer days during the week and get to the trailhead by 7:00a. You can get to Cecret Lake and back before work.  I did this recently and it was glorious. Only a few cars were in the parking lot and not many hikers on the trail. The soft morning light was a bonus for snapping photos of the picturesque wildflowers.

Wildflower TrailThe trail to Cecret Lake is less than two miles out and back. I once enticed my children on this hike by bribing them with an Egg McMuffin picnic breakfast once we reached the lake. You will want to bring a day pack with water, a light jacket (it can be chilly at that elevation even when it is scorching hot in the valley), sturdy shoes, some nuts and dried fruit (just in case), and your camera. I promise that you will be so glad that you did.

There is something humbling about spending time in the mountains where our true scale in relation to nature can quickly put the woes and aggravations of daily life into sharp perspective. It’s amazing out there. Go get you some.

More information about the Cecret Lake trail.

A hike is good for the soul

Weekend Recharge: Kayaking 

fun, kayak, summer

Kayaking at Currant Creek Reservoir

Last Sunday was the type of summer day that I dream about all winter long. The sky was blue and a gentle breeze of warm, scented air awakened me. We got up early and packed a picnic lunch. We had loaded the kayaks on the car the night before so we would be ready to roll first thing in the morning.

fun, kayak, summer

Where It Is

Currant Creek Recreation Area boasts a beautiful reservoir, campground, and thanks to the 7,683 ft. elevation, a welcome break from the triple digit temperatures. We had the reservoir to ourselves except for a few people fishing. The water was as smooth as glass and only our oars disturbed the surface. The air smelled deliciously of pine.

summer fun kayak

Why You Should Go

We paddled over to the boat launch and into a cove that is adjacent to the campground. Someone had tied a rope swing to a tree. I considered climbing on shore and hurling myself into the water. But, once I dipped my toes into the icy cold water I decided that staying in the kayak was a better course of action. We paddled nearly all the perimeter of the reservoir we headed back. When we got back to shore we guzzled our cold drinks and refueled with garden tomato sandwiches.

After relaxing at the water’s edge for a while, we loaded up our gear and headed back to the cabin with tired arms, a full belly, and sun-kissed cheeks.

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