The Fight to Save Salmon


It’s nothing short of miraculous when your plane dips down through light cloud cover and Alaska’s Prince William Sound reveals itself. The Copper River roars through the clefts in the U.S.’s highest coastal mountain range until it ends in a wide delta. Bands of sandbars thrown up by all that water attract seals and sea lions that sunbathe before slipping off into the chilly suds. A bit farther out, the white flukes of humpback whales cut the waves while osprey and bald eagles dive, talons blazing. All of these hunters, including many humans among them, are on the lookout for fish.

The five species of salmon that return to Alaska’s rivers every summer bring with them the energy and flavor of the open ocean. The sockeye salmon is particularly distinctive: Colored a deep ruby red from the krill they feast upon in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, sockeye are lean and tangy with complex and layered flavors. It’s the sockeye’s specific, authentic taste and its connection to the wild ocean that has drawn fishermen to places like Prince William Sound. “I grew up in a small farming community in Minnesota,” longtime fisherman Mike Mahoney told me as he was gearing up for the beginning of salmon season in the tiny hamlet of Cordova. “I came to Alaska in 1996 because I wanted to see what the wilderness was like.


This family-run, coastal, small boat-style fishing life really appealed to me.” In high season Mahoney fishes the shallow bars of the delta single-handedly, dodging 15 foot breakers and skirting the shore with his zippy twin engine vessel the Dorothy G. Because this is such a valuable and productive fishery, five months of hard fishing is enough to see him through the year.

That Mahoney has been able to live this independent fisherman’s life for seventeen seasons is something of a miracle too. It reveals itself to be all the more miraculous when you consider that Alaska’s salmon fisheries were almost obliterated.

A hundred odd years ago, when Alaska was just a federal territory lacking any rights of statehood, fishing magnates from the continental U.S. established massive salmon-canning operations along Alaska’s bays and rivers. Very little thought was put into managing salmon for the long term: Nets a mile long and even permanent barricades stole away the majority of fish attempting to reach the shallow gravel beds upstream to spawn. With so few salmon able to reproduce, populations declined year after year until large portions of the fishery collapsed. In 1953 president Dwight D. Eisenhower declared Alaska’s salmon country a federal disaster.


But then something surprising happened. Alaskans wrested control of their fisheries from the corporations that were ruining them. They lobbied hard and achieved statehood. They banned large scale salmon traps and actually wrote into their new constitution an obligation to “manage, protect, maintain, improve, and extend the fish of the state.” Throughout the 1960s 70s and 80s teams of fishery biologists blanketed Alaska’s rivers and set up data collection points to determine how to keep populations stable over time. Today the state Fish and Game Department crunches the information acquired by all these observers and only allows fishing after the river in question has achieved “escapement goals”—when a necessary number of fish have made it upstream to reproduce. It is this intense, precise regulation that has kept salmon coming back year after year. Whole fleets of fishermen like Mike Mahoney can keep netting salmon every season in rivers all up and down Alaska’s coast, provided they clear out of the way during critical migration times and follow the rules set forth by the Fish and Game Department.

“There were a lot of forward thinking people who set up our constitution,” Mike Mahoney says. “They ensured that a small boat fishery like the one I fish in can exist.”


But for all that good management it’s taken a while for Alaskan salmon to catch on in the lower 48. That’s mostly because before the 1980s the main way wild salmon got to us southerners was in a can. Which in the end meant that fishermen didn’t waste much of their valuable time caring for their catch.

“There was a tradition of dry holds and plywood boxes,” retired Cordova fisherman R. J. Kopchak, says remembering the days when a salmon might sit in the hot sun at the bow of a boat for hours before it reached the cannery. But when buyers, first from Japan and later from Seattle, started asking for fillets instead of cans, the Copper River Fisherman’s Coop launched a quality control program that included bleeding out fish and immediately icing them. The Coop has since been replaced by other forward thinking entities like the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association that continues to improve practices. Today the flash frozen fillets that come out of Cordova when defrosted properly have a taste and texture that’s crazily close to the fresh.


The Copper River-inspired spirit of quality is gradually catching on in other parts of the state: down in Southeast in Sitka and Yakutat where trollers focus on giant king salmon for the Seattle fresh market; through the Kenai Peninsula that’s strong in silvery leaping cohos; in the massive sockeye dominated salmon heartland of Bristol Bay. In all these regions fishermen and processors are striving to make the frozen product as close as possible to the fresh, instituting a cool chain from net to processor and state-of-the-art flash freezing techniques that freeze fillets so quickly that ice crystals can’t form and ruin the salmon’s texture.


Meanwhile back in Cordova, The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association along with the Cordova District Fishermen United organization have become not just models for how they protect the quality of the fish flesh they sell. They have also been leaders in safeguarding the environment that keeps all this salmon coming year after year. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground at Bligh Reef in 1989 and spilled ten million gallons of crude oil, Cordova fishermen banded together and agreed to use the billions of dollars in settlement funds to purchase thousands of acres of vital streamside spawning habitat and retire the logging rights on even more land. Today the fishermen fight on, against mining interests, against fracking that’s being considered on one of the Copper’s tributaries and even against designs to build a riverside road that would connect Cordova to the rest of the world. In the tiny two-street downtown of this village that is at once both rugged and crunchy if you see a bumper stick that says “No Road” you can bet that car is probably being driven by a salmon fisherman who certainly doesn’t want tourists or weekend warriors from Anchorage spoiling this special secret of a place.

“We make our living off catching fish,” Mike Mahoney says, “We still have this authentic commercial fishing economy here. A little bit of tourism is fine. But a road to me could bring in these unintended consequences that people just don’t see.”

At least for now Mike Mahoney’s salmon secret is safe. When a piece of his salmon ends up on your plate you get to be in on the secret too.

How to Update En Papillote

En papillote (literally “in parchment”) is a classic technique in which fish and other ingredients are steamed in the oven inside a parchment packet. Though the method originated in France, it can be used to highlight the flavors of just about any cuisine.

Below you’ll find two recipes inspired by Mexican and Thai cooking. Try these, then experiment to find combinations you love. Swap in new types of fish, vegetables, and more. (Just make sure your fish fillets are thin and of a similar thickness, and when adding heartier vegetables like fennel, make sure they’re thinly sliced, so they cook quickly and evenly.)

Finally, when it comes time to make your packet, follow our helpful guide.


Mexican Snapper En Papillote With Zucchini, Cilantro & Lime


Serves: 4 Cook Time: 35-45 Minutes


2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup white rice
4 sheets parchment paper, 15” x 15”
4 skin-on snapper fillets, approx. 5 ounces each
2 medium zucchini (approx. 8 ounces each), thinly sliced into rounds
8 sprigs oregano
½ cup orange juice
4 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 equal-sized pieces
½ bunch cilantro (approx. 2 grams), leaves and stems roughly chopped
1 lime, quartered


Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 ½ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

Lay the sheets of parchment paper on a clean, dry work surface. Pat the snapper dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Evenly divide the cooked rice and zucchini among the sheets, arranging in the center of 1 side. Top with the oregano sprigs, then drizzle with the orange juice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Top with the seasoned fillets and butter. Follow our guide at the top to fold your packets.

Place the packets on a sheet pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the packets have puffed up and the snapper is cooked through. Remove from the oven and divide among 4 dishes. Carefully open the packets, letting any steam escape. Discard the oregano sprigs. Garnish with the cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the lime wedges on the side.

Thai Sea Bass En Papillote With Red Curry Rice & Coconut Milk


Serves: 4 Cook Time: 35-45 Minutes


¾ cup jasmine rice
2 teaspoons red curry paste
4 sheets parchment paper, 15” x 15”
4 skin-on seabass fillets, approx. 5 ounces each
2 cups spinach
½ cup coconut milk
4 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 equal-sized pieces
½ bunch cilantro (approx. 2 grams), leaves and stems roughly chopped
1 lime, quartered


Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the curry paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 ½ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

While the rice cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid.

Lay the sheets of parchment paper on a clean, dry work surface. Pat the sea bass dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Evenly divide the cooked rice and cooked spinach among the sheets, arranging in the center of 1 side, then drizzle with the coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Top with the seasoned sea bass and butter. Follow our guide at the top to fold your packets.

Place the packets on a sheet pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the packets have puffed up and the sea bass is cooked through. Remove from the oven and divide among 4 dishes. Carefully open the packets, letting any steam escape. Garnish with the cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the lime wedges on the side.


Where In-The-Know Fish Lovers Get Their Goods

It’s 10 o’clock on a Friday morning. On a hushed, industrial street in Greenpoint—a booming neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York—there’s a pretty long line for… something.


The line spills out of a narrow steel door on the side of a squat brick building. It contains a patchwork of people, young and old: most keep to themselves, holding cell phones and to-go cups of coffee, while others chat in English and Polish and Russian. Almost all of these people are smiling from ear to ear.

They’re waiting for fish—that is, some of the best (and best-priced) smoked fish available. For just five hours every Friday, Acme Smoked Fish Corporation, one of the country’s biggest, most respected producers and wholesalers of smoked fish, opens that steel door and sells directly to the public. It’s a unique pop-up shop, hosted right in the place where all the fish are cut, brined, dried and smoked.

Because they rely exclusively on word of mouth, “Fish Fridays” are still a bit under the radar, even though the tradition is actually 25 years old.

“Back in the day, Fish Fridays were just a way for us to unload extra inventory,” says Adam Caslow, co-CEO and a fourth-generation operator of Acme.

But the business as a whole has even deeper roots than that. It all began in 1905, when a Russian immigrant named Harry Brownstein (Caslow’s great-grandfather) settled in Brooklyn and started buying and distributing fish from local smokehouses. By the time of his death in 1969, his family was devoted to the growing operation, which had just earned its first supermarket chain customers.

Today, Acme supplies not only supermarket chains like Whole Foods, but also high-end shops and eateries that specialize in smoked fish, including Barney Greengrass, Zabar’s and Sadelle’s—all New York City institutions themselves.

So what’s the big deal, really, about Acme’s smoked fish?

In their hot and cold smoke rooms, Acme smokes high-quality fish—already cut, brined and air-dried in separate rooms—with smoke generated by burning real wood chips. For most of their items, that’s all there is to it. The natural flavor of the fish, be it the ever-popular salmon or a specialty species like trout, takes beautifully to the flavor of the smoke.

Salmon is dry brined, or rubbed with a mixture of salt and sugar to season each cut before smoking.

Acme does offer a few extra flavors, like pastrami spices and lemon-pepper. One of the newest additions is honey-maple: in one room, thick slabs of salmon are brushed with the syrupy mixture, giving them a beautiful golden sheen.

After all is said and done, the smoked fish is sliced thinly with a special machine, wrapped tightly in layers of paper and handed over to one eager customer after another.

At half past 10, a young boy in line asks sheepishly, “Does it smell inside?”

“No, it doesn’t smell at all,” an older man, possibly his grandfather, reassures him. Then, after a beat: “Well, maybe a little.”

The distinctive smell is one that many New Yorkers, and perhaps now tourists, actually relish. It hangs in the air inside, where one long table is set up for these fleeting hours. Behind the table, a few employees take orders, calling out the occasional “Good to see you again” and “You’re here early!”


At the far end of the table, where samples are offered, one customer holds up a translucent-thin slice of smoked fish to the overhead light, as if examining a hundred-dollar bill. Apparently satisfied, she tears off a piece for her friend and stuffs the rest in her mouth.

“In salmon, the oil gives you a nice sea-saltiness,” says Adam, describing what sets different species’ flavors apart, as he looks over the samples. “Then there’s something like trout, which is already smoky—so it takes particularly well to the smoke. It reminds me of being in the mountains or woods.”

The main distinction between salmon and trout, he goes on, is the difference in smoking temperatures. Trout is hot smoked: the high-temperature hardwood smoke both flavors it and cooks it through, lending it a multidimensional (but not especially fishy) taste.

And Adam’s favorite way to eat smoked fish?

“Me? Well, I do love it on a bagel with cream cheese, onion, tomato.”

Where smoked fish is concerned, tradition reigns supreme. Even with decades’ worth of change in the neighborhood and, by extension, the scene at Fish Fridays, few things are better than smoked fish on bread.

By 11 o’clock, the line out the door is longer than ever. But, as Adam points out, most people don’t mind waiting: it’s part of the experience. Still, he sometimes thinks about changing the setup of Fish Fridays. If they don’t do something new, won’t people stop coming?


Behind the now-mobbed table, an energized employee rings up three pounds of smoked whole salmon (a Fish Friday special). Watching with a twinkle in his eye, one older customer says, “I see business is bad,” to laughter. “How will you survive? I’m worried about you.”

Look for Acme’s smoked trout in our recipe for Smoked Trout Tartines with Romaine, Cucumber & Radish Salad, and learn more about the company here.


Why You Should Be Cooking Fish at Home

We’re big proponents of making seafood a dietary staple (learn more about what makes good seafood here). But don’t just take our word for it…Meet Andrew. Andrew Gruel, owner of the Slapfish restaurants in California, is also passionate about sustainable seafood. He believes it should be enjoyed both in restaurants and at home. But did you know that currently about two-thirds of all seafood in America is eaten outside the home? That’s why we asked Andrew, a true seafood guru, to help us bust some of the most common myths that prevent people from cooking it at home. Here’s what he said:


Myth: Fish is smelly

Truth: “If the fish is high quality, it won’t be smelly, even when you cook it. When you’re buying seafood, get up close and smell it. If it smells fresh and like salt water, then it’s good. If it smells fishy, don’t buy it. It’s that simple.”

Myth: Frozen fish is bad

Truth: “This is probably the biggest misconception in the entire food industry. The truth is, almost all fish has been frozen—in fact, most wild seafood is frozen within 10 seconds of being caught. You know that tuna at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo that’s sold for $300 a pound to the best sushi restaurants in the world? Even that’s been frozen. Freezing absolutely does not affect the quality of the fish—all it’s doing is pressing the pause button on time.”

Myth: It’s hard to know what fish is sustainable

Truth: “Make sure the fish is certified by a reputable non profit or NGO or comes from a farm with a strong reputation. Both farmed and wild seafood have a rightful place in the sustainable food system. Aquaculture, or fish farming, when highly regulated, is a great thing. We’re not afraid to eat farmed vegetables, and we shouldn’t be afraid to eat farmed seafood.”

Myth: It’s hard to cook fish correctly

Truth: “The reason people often struggle to cook fish at home is because they’re trying to use the same techniques they’d use on other meats. We’re so used to aggressively cooking meat at high temps. But seafood is very delicate and should be cooked with that in mind. By its nature, it reacts best to low temp cooking. Try lightly poaching or gently roasting fish with herbs and aromatics for a delicious flavor.”

Seafood in a New Light: The Truth About Wild and Farmed Fish

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of seafood: it’s a delicious and, most importantly, sustainable source of protein. Not to mention, producing seafood requires dramatically less energy than other animals. For example, it only takes one pound of feed to create one pound of fish, but for meat and poultry it can require up to nine times as much feed.  Supporting sustainable seafood choices is a win-win for us all.


While not all fish are created equal when it comes to sustainability (some require too much feed, some are endangered, etc.), one thing is for sure: avoiding a certain fish has nothing to do with whether it was farmed or wild-caught, despite the misinformation floating around out there about fish farming, or aquaculture. The truth is that both wild and farmed fish are equally crucial to a sustainable seafood system. When done the right way, aquaculture allows us to meet the growing global demand for seafood—300 billion pounds, at last count—without depleting wild fish populations, such as what we’ve seen with the nearly 50% decline in marine life populations in the past 40 years.


We know it’s not easy to figure out how to make informed decisions when choosing seafood, especially if it’s not as simple as picking wild vs. farmed. For starters, when it comes to wild fish, it’s best to go for fish that have been caught using methods that don’t disturb natural habitats and prioritize the long-term health of the ocean, and to steer clear of endangered species, like Atlantic cod (we only source wild Pacific cod, which is both tasty and plentiful).


And what exactly is the right way to farm fish? Firstly, the farm should use closely-regulated practices that maintain or improve the health of the environment. Low-density pens that support the well-being of the fish, allowing them ample space to swim around, are one responsible option. Lastly, the fish should be fed as efficiently as possible, which means choosing species that can grow and thrive on a smaller amount of food.


These are just a few points to consider, but we understand this is a complex issue with a lot to keep track of. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, one of the world’s most well-respected guides to sustainable seafood. If you’d like to learn more about what makes sustainable wild-caught seafood or aquaculture, visit the Seafood Watch website. We work with Seafood Watch to ensure that all our seafood is sustainably-sourced, but when you’re at a restaurant or your local market, this printable pocket guide by Seafood Watch is a great resource to keep on hand.



  1. In addition to sustainable seafood recommendations, the official Seafood Watch page has tons of great info on aquaculture and wild fisheries.
  2. Learn more about our partnership with Seafood Watch here.
  3. Dive deeper with author and seafood expert Paul Greenberg in his best-selling book, Four Fish.

Our Commitment to Sustainable Seafood

We believe sustainability is the most vital ingredient to great seafood. That’s why we’ve partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch®, a non-profit organization who shares our commitment to building a better food system and is one of the world’s most well-respected guides to sustainable seafood. As much as we love cooking with fish, we recognize the urgent need to source it responsibly. The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and is home to more than one million species. We rely on it for everything from our livelihoods to the air we breathe to providing us with a steady supply of healthy, delicious seafood. But just as we depend on the ocean for so much, it in turn depends on us for protection.

042216_Blog_SeafoodWatch_V06_02According to a 2015 World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) report, marine vertebrate populations have plummeted over the last fifty years, largely due to overfishing and destructive aquaculture (or fish farming). It’s a scary statistic, but here’s the good news: By committing to sustainable practices, in how we fish, how we farm and how we eat, it’s within our power to help restore the health and vitality of this precious natural resource. And that’s exactly the goal we’re working toward in partnership with Seafood Watch.


When it comes to seafood, we know it can be tricky to decipher all the options. Should you go for wild-caught or farmed? Atlantic or Pacific? What does sustainability even mean? Sustainability applies to seafood that’s been sourced in ways that consider the long-term well-being of the ocean and the communities who depend on it for their livelihoods. Contrary to popular belief, not all wild-caught fish is good—many species, like Atlantic cod, for example, are nearly extinct due to overfishing—and not all farmed fish is bad. In fact, aquaculture that’s closely regulated can be a great option, helping take pressure off wild fish stocks.

Matt Wadiak, one of our founders and our COO, has led the initiative to ensure that all of Blue Apron’s seafood is sustainably sourced, whether wild-caught or farmed. “We’re trying to build a regenerative closed loop food system,” he says. “It’s our goal to change the way people eat seafood in this country. Seafood Watch takes a holistic approach to the health of the world’s oceans, focusing on both fishing and aquaculture, and their mission to preserve and regenerate the ocean, is uncompromising. We can’t think of a more perfect partner to strengthen our commitment to sustainable seafood.”


Seafood Watch empowers consumers and businesses to make informed choices using a comprehensive ratings system indicating which seafood items are “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative,” and which ones to “Avoid.”


We’re proud to partner with Seafood Watch because of our mutual commitment to finding the best ingredients and building a sustainable food system. Through this partnership, we can ensure we’re always bringing you seafood that’s both high quality and sustainably sourced. “Blue Apron’s seafood sourcing was already excellent even before we joined forces,” Bigelow says. “They’re constantly working to improve the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. That’s the key to making real change on the water.”

Seafood plays an important role in a balanced diet—when caught or farmed responsibly, it’s an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. We know cooking fish at home can be intimidating, so our culinary team is constantly thinking of new seafood recipes so you can try your hand at getting the perfect sear on a salmon, or making a spicy shrimp red curry—perhaps even getting little ones to try fish for the first time.

When you cook with Blue Apron, you can be confident that you’re receiving high-quality, sustainable seafood. But what about when you’re out at a restaurant or at your local grocery store? Use this guide by Seafood Watch to help you make smart decisions. Our choices make a difference on every level, and by choosing to eat sustainably, you’re helping ensure an abundant seafood supply for generations to come.


A Summer Dinner: Seared Trout with Peach & Arugula Salad

Let’s talk about why sweet and savory are so good together.

In this dish, sweet peach, spicy arugula, and fragrant tarragon conspire to turn crispy trout into an extraordinary dinner. And while spicy arugula and fragrant tarragon (and fingerling potatoes! and almonds!) are good on their own, it’s the peaches here that set the dish apart. 

To make a dish more tasty than usual, it helps to have its flavors hit several different notes. Two of those are sweet and savory.

We tend to think that sweet tastes below in dessert, after we’ve eaten our due savory courses. But if you think about some of the most delicious delicacies, you’ll find the two combined. Chocolate covered pretzels boast are better because they offer both sweet and savory notes. Many chefs pair melon or figs with salty prosciutto. Many Southeast Asian dishes, like these noodles, contain more sugar than you’d imagine, to balance out the sour, salty, and bitter notes that are instrumental to every dish.

So, back to the peach.

In summer, ripe peaches give off the scent of honey. Their juices are incredibly sweet, meant to drip off your chin when you take a bite. All those sugary notes provide just the complement to the other savory flavors in this dish: those rich almonds, that spicy arugula, that tangy dressing. By the time you’ve piled the salad high on top of the crispy trout, you’ll have made a meal that’s balanced, both in terms of health and flavor. Enjoy!

We’re happy to be participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest, a weekly blog tour of all the incredible produce we’ll be enjoying this summer. This week, the topic is peaches! You can see the other bloggers’ delicious creations by following the links below.

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Peach Kiwi Salsa
Chez Us: Upside Down Peach Bourbon Cake
The Heritage Cook: Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Filling
Virtually Homemade: Peach Cobbler Muffins
Made By Michelle: Mint Peach Popsicles
Taste With The Eyes: The BLP Sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce and Peach)
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Healthy Peach Crisp Smoothie
Red or Green: Spiced Peach Daiquiri
Feed Me Phoebe: Peach Lassi
Domesticate Me: Grilled Halibut Tacos with Peach Salsa
Weelicious: Kenya’s Peach Cake
Blue Apron Blog: Seared Trout with Peach and Arugula Salad
The Sensitive Epicure: Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest and Vanilla
Daily*Dishin: Blackberry Cheesecake with Fresh Peach Topping
Devour: Chia Seed Pudding with Peaches
FN Dish: 5 Unsung Sides of the Summer Peach

Summer Succotash with Cod & Pickled Grapes

Though it may seem like Sylvester the Cat from Looney Tunes invented the word succotash with his catch phrase “sufferin’ succotash,” the vegetable dish actually comes from a pre-TV place.

Way pre-TV, in fact. The Narragansett Native American word “msíckquatash,” meaning boiled corn kernels, is the origin of the dish that today describes not just corn kernels (no longer boiled), which still form the base of succotash, but these days are only the start. As the dish has grown up, from colonial American tables to our frying pans, it has come to feature seasonal vegetables that grow alongside corn in the summer, like beans, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, shallots, and herbs.

Fresh-tasting, filling succotash honestly stands up pretty well as a vegetarian main course, especially if you add protein-packed beans like edamame or fava. In this recipe though, we pair the succotash with quickly sautéed cod filets, whose rich flaky texture is wonderful with every bite of succotash. To make sure the cod gets crispy and golden, we dip it in rice flour, a light coating that ensures that the cod is completely dry when it hits the pan–that creates the crisp exterior.

The last extraordinary part of this recipe? Pickled grape slices, sweet, cool, and surprising on top of the fish filet.

You can get the full recipe for this colorful dinner over on our recipe card for Cod with Pickled Grapes and Summer Succotash. We’ll deliver all the ingredients you need to make it if you sign up by tomorrow.

We’re happy to be participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest, a weekly blog tour of all the incredible produce we’ll be enjoying this summer. This week, the topic is summer corn. You can see the other bloggers’ delicious corny creations by following the links below. (Second only to this succotash, our favorite corn dish is Mexican-style corn, or elote.)

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Mexican Corn Salad “Esquites”
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Corn with Ancho Chili Butter and Fresh Lime
Domesticate Me: Campfire Chicken Packets with Zucchini, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
Dishin & Dishes: Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn) Three Ways
Feed Me Phoebe: Corn on the Cob with Sriracha Lime Butter
Taste With The Eyes: Hello Summer Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Fresh Corn, Roasted Tomato and Pickled Garlic Pizza with Cornmeal Crust
Red or Green?: Corn & Green Chile Corn Muffins
Made by Michelle: Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Devour: Four Grilled Corn Favorites
The Heritage Cook: Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad
The Sensitive Epicure: Cilantro Rice with Corn, Black Beans and Avocados
Pinch My Salt: Grilled Corn Guacamole
Daily*Dishin: Manchego Lime Roasted Corn
Weelicious: Corn Salsa
FN Dish: Off the Cob Salads

Dinner Conversation: A Pizza Drone and Salmon Juju

Vegetarian Sushi from YumSugar

Pie in the Sky – PSFK
Watch out! A pizza drone might just be hovering above you. Domino’s new “DomiCopter” aims to deliver hot pizzas faster by avoiding traffic altogether. Hmm.

Hi, Iced Coffee Season – First We Feast
Clarity comes to the brewing methods behind your cup of iced Joe in this guide that details the many ways to make a cold mug. Did you know about New Orleans style coffee? You do now.

Secret Ingredient Vegetable Sushi – YumSugar
Two surprising ingredients take homemade vegetarian sushi to the next level in this yummy-looking, beautifully rolled sushi from YumSugar.

Catching Salmon in the Wild – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
This story captures life on the salmon circuit. Even when you can’t be out there fishing yourself, you can live vicariously through Hank Shaw’s tremendously evocative writing.

Eat More Water – Greatist
Hydrating foods help keep you feeling good all summer long without guzzling glass after glass of water.