Monday 16 May 2011

Too much fishing in the sea!

                       Fishing responsibly      photo: Dean Northcott

Fish in Selfridges is fashion! London’s most fashionable department store launched a campaign, Project Ocean, to bring awareness about the over-fishing issue and to help people understand the impact that it’s having on the environment. We all love our fish but, according to campaigners, “research suggests that, unless we change the way we fish and the seafood we choose to eat, global stocks will be fully exploited within the next generation”. It’s all very scary! 

The idea of the project – developed by the store with the help of more than 20 conservation and environmental groups - is that people should start to make positive choices about the right seafood to buy and eat. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has put together an online guide of the endangered species and the fish you can still enjoy without guilt. And I highly recommend watching food writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s documentary on the subject Hugh's Fish Fight, if you still haven’t had the chance to see it! Did you know that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back in the water dead? It is eye opening – and shows how the crazy fishing quota system is infuriatingly flawed. 

With the help of MCS, Selfridges has stopped selling 70 endangered species. As it happens, I was there last week, buying a delicious sustainably farmed smoked salmon from Loch Fyne, Scotland, and I just missed Prince Charles, who was there to launch the project. The prince is a big supporter of pro-environment campaigns.
We must protect our ocean, buy our seafood more responsibly and eat in restaurants that choose to cook with sustainable produce. If you don’t know the provenance of the fish/seafood you want to buy or eat, just say no!

delicious smoked salmon from Loch Fyne
marinate it on lime juice
main ingredients for the salsa
mix them all together and add the fresh coriander at the end
serve on sourdough toast or...
on wholemeal bread or...
...simply like a carpaccio

“Cevaccio” of smoked salmon with avocado and grapefruit salsa 
Serves 4
This ceviche, carpaccio style (named by me as Cevaccio), is very easy to make, healthy and delicious too. The creamy texture of the avocado mixed with the tangy flavour of the grapefruit is a great accompaniment to the lime-cooked smoked salmon. It’s perfect as a summer snack, lunch or picnic.


For the cevaccio
Slices of organic smoked salmon 200g
Juice of a lime
Half red onion
Fresh red chilli

For the salsa
1 avocado, diced
1 grapefruit, cut into segments. Reserve the juice
Fresh coriander

For the dressing
Grapefruit juice
A glug of olive oil
Lime juice
Sea salt
Black pepper


Squeeze the lime juice into a shallow bowl. Add the thinly sliced red onion to the fresh chilli and mix. Add the smoked salmon and evenly coat the slices with the marinade. Leave it for at least 1 hour (3 hours would be even better) as the lime will “cook” it.

For the avocado salsa: In a separate bowl put the diced avocado, then the grapefruit. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Add the fresh coriander at the end. Mix gently.

To make the dressing, just mix the reserved grapefruit juice, a glug of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lime juice together. Adjust to your taste. Pour the dressing on to the avocado and grapefruit mixture.

When the fish is done, serve it on a piece of sourdough toast (or any other wholemeal bread) with the avocado salsa. I promise it is very yummy!

Some of the ingredients and their healthy benefits

Salmon: smoking and salting is a traditional technique to preserve food naturally. Salmon is an excellent source of protein, potassium, selenium, Vitamin B12. It contains high levels of the essential fatty acid Omega 3. It is beneficial against heart diseases. Research has shown that it’s also beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease.

Avocado (Persea Americana): is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid and linoleic acid), vitamin E, as well B vitamins, fibre and potassium. It helps lower cholesterol levels, thereby preventing heart diseases - all due to the oils that avocado provides.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi): helps lower cholesterol levels due to its pectin content. The consumption of this fruit normalises the percentage of red blood cells per volume of blood. Grapefruit has a flavonoid called naringin that studies have shown to promote elimination of old red blood cells by the body. Grapefruit, especially the red and the pink, is an excellent source of the carotene lycopene (also found in tomato), which is important against cancer and eye disease. Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and water-soluble fibres.
Caution: Due to the flavonoid naringin, people taking certain drugs such as calcium channel blockers (for high blood pressure), statins (cholesterol lowering), sedatives and immune suppressants, should avoid eating grapefruit as this flavonoid reduces the activity of an enzyme within the liver that is used by our body to break down these drugs. The drugs will remain concentrated in the body increasing the risk of toxicity. If you are taking prescription drugs ask your doctor about the interactions.

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia): contains several phytochemicals including flavonoids and limonene, which are high in antioxidants. It is high in vitamin C and has good levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid. 

             Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Prince Charles at the launch of Project Ocean       photo: Andrew Winning
Till next week!

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