Living in Los Angeles, I feel like I hit the jackpot when it comes to food (traffic, not so much). With farmland so close by (but please, please give us some rain!), we have access to an amazing range of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as pastured eggs and healthy meat. You can find many of these quality ingredients in grocery stores, farmers markets and you can even get great food delivered right to your door.
Then there's seafood, which somehow falls into its own lonely category without as much love. There's a lot of sustainability issues right now due to over fishing. Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, an excellent place to check which fish is ok to eat right now, states:
90 percent of the world's fisheries are either fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed. The global fishing fleet is operating at 2.5 times the sustainable level—there are simply too many boats chasing a dwindling number of fish.
So you'll see a lot of fish in the frozen section from far away places like Chile and Japan, but that's a long ways away and we can't be sure about their fishing practices. So what's a seafood lover to do?
Community Seafood to the rescue. Like a CSA that delivers fresh produce to your door on a regular basis, Community Seafood allows people to subscribe to their program to receive fresh, local fish, every week or every other.
The fish is indeed local, coming from the Channel Islands, about 22 miles off shore of Santa Barbara where there's a surprising number of species found. Past shipments have included: white seabass, black cod, halibut, yellowtail, sardines, anchovies, shrimp, crab, mussels and calamari - all local to these parts (who knew). Not only that, but when you receive your fish, you get a bio on the fisherman who caught it as well as recipe ideas. Even better is that it only takes 48 hours for the fish to get from the dock to your hands. That's fresh.
They gave me a sample of their catch of the week, swordfish, which I thought would be best with a simple sear on the grill, topped with a local, fresh melon salsa to get a true taste of California.
Swordfish with Cucumber Melon Salsa
- 1 cup melon (cantaloupe or honeydew), peeled and diced
- 1 cup English or Persian cucumbers, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, finely chopped
- Zest from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 pound fresh swordfish
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine melon, cucumbers, mint, jalapeno, and lime in a bowl and allow to sit in the refrigerator at least a half an hour or overnight.
- Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high and coat with oil or non-stick cooking spray.
- Rinse the swordfish and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil. When the grill or pan is hot, place the swordfish on and allow to sear without moving, approximately 3-4 minutes or until you see the sides turning opaque and then flip. Cook another minute or two until done and allow to rest.
- Plate the fish and serve with the salsa on top.