This week we wanted to touch on the subject of farmed fish.  It is our belief that sustainably farming fish is necessary to keep up the demand of feeding an ever-growing population, similar to our dependence on sustainably farmed grains, fruits, vegetables and livestock.  Wild caught fish are great, but the Cod fishery collapse shows we cannot depend on this type of fishing alone as it is impossible to stop overfishing, particularly in oceans.

Acres of type have been spilled arguing farmed fishing is causing havoc on our oceans and lakes.  But What receives less attention are retractions like David Suzuki’s, and the acquaculture communities commitment to sustainability evidenced by programs like Oceanwise and BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices Certified), which are the governing bodies that make sure that the fish farms stick to their tight regulations.   Furthermore, it is not be in the farmer’s best interest to cause damage to the area in which they make their livelihood, just as it is not in the wheat farmer’s interest to exhaust their land.

So before you toss the towel in on farmed fish keep an open mind to the positive side of the sustainability issue.  And as a further benefit, farmed fish tend to be cheaper:  Northern Harvest fillets cost $11.09 / lb; wild-caught Sockeye fillets cost $12.79 / lb

Broiled Salmon with Sweet Corn and Barley Risotto

Salmon Fillets

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4   5 oz Northern Harvest salmon fillets
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch each salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges

Sweet Corn Barley Risotto

  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup pot barley
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chervil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Sweet Corn Barley Risotto

In saucepan, bring vegetable broth and 2 ½ cups water to simmer; keep warm.  Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion and garlic until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.  Add barley; cook, stirring to coat, for 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium; stir in corn.  Add hot broth mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy and barley is tender but still slightly firm in centre, about 45 minutes.  Stir in Parmesan cheese, chervil, sour cream, lemon juice, pepper and salt.

Salmon Fillets

Meanwhile, using bottom of heavy skillet, crush fennel seeds.  Arrange fish on greased rimmed baking sheet.  Brush with oil; sprinkle with fennel seeds, salt and pepper.  Broil, 6 inches (15 cm) from heat, until fish flakes easily when tested, about 7 minutes.  Serve with risotto and lemon wedges to squeeze over top.

Serve salmon and risotto spinkled with green onions.

Servings: 4