Stories / Impact, Recipes

Make This Year's Feast of the Seven Fishes Sustainable

Frank Guerriero

December 11, 2018


Lobster Rossejat Barton Seaver recipe
Photo: Michael Piazza

Each year, people of Italian descent in the United States and around the globe spend weeks meticulously planning the ultimate Feast of the Seven Fishes. We’re gearing up to celebrate with a seafood-savvy Beard House dinner featuring chef Michel Desjardins of Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas, but don’t worry if a trip to the Big Apple isn’t on your holiday season itinerary. We’ve gathered seven standout recipes to help you unleash your inner italiano this December, all featuring species certified sustainable by our Smart Catch team. So pay a visit to your favorite fishmonger, gather la famiglia in the kitchen, and cook up these eco-friendly delights this holiday season.

Grilled Norwegian Mackerel with Cabbage Cream and Apples
A bit of char on some responsibly fished Atlantic mackerel and a pair of bright, acidic accoutrements will wake up your guests’ palates at the start of the holiday feast.

Thai-Style Rockfish with Spicy Tamarind Sauce
The pros at Smart Catch call wild-caught Alaskan dusky rockfish a “Best Choice,” so there’s no environmental baggage to this sweet, spicy, and slightly sour recipe from Beard Award winner Tory Miller.

Benne Oyster Stew
Oysters are a go-to option for chefs and diners looking to get their sustainable seafood fix. This recipe, from James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp alum Paul Fehribach of Chicago favorite Big Jones, uses fragrant benne seeds and other Gulf cuisine staples to give everyone’s favorite mollusk a Southern accent.

Seared Halibut with Watercress, Potatoes, and Charred Lemon Sauce
In this recipe, the mild, crowd-pleasing, and sustainable Pacific halibut gets a boost from some peppery greens, slices of tart pink lady apples, and a delightfully complex charred lemon dressing.

Brioche Crusted Skate Wing
Beard Award winner Jen Jasinski coats the chef-favorite, U.S. West Coast–caught longnose skate with brioche bread crumbs for a crunchy, slightly sweet exterior, then serves it alongside sautéed Brussels sprouts, lemon crème fraîche, and a fragrant pistachio pistou for a perfectly balanced plate.

Whole-Roasted Fish with Gullah Country Moppin' Sauce
Cooking up some farmed American rainbow trout is a great way to embrace responsible aquaculture, and a homemade “moppin’ sauce” from cookbook author and Boot Camp alum Asha Gomez makes it a pretty delicious one, too.

Lobster Rossejat (pictured above)
This Catalan classic combines deeply toasted broken spaghetti, gently poached lobster, and a healthy dose of aïoli to create a showstopping centerpiece for your holiday table. The Smart Catch team prefers lobster caught in the North Atlantic (look for Georges Bank, Gulf of Maine, or Atlantic Canada), where the stocks are healthy and the fisheries are especially responsible.

Learn more about our sustainable seafood program, Smart Catch, and see what Smart Catch Leader chefs are in your area.


Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.