Even though there are hundreds of types of fish for sale, most chefs are only familiar with a few varieties. That's where Barton Seaver comes in with his unique approach: By combining all manner of fish (not just the familiar standbys) with loads of fresh vegetables, he fosters sustainability both in the sea and on the farm. Organized by season, For Cod and Country features only fish caught in those months (plus "a fifth season" for farmed fish), along with ideas for preparation, seasonings, and lists of alternate fish to substitute in inventive new dishes.
"In this debut cookbook, Seaver, creator of three Washington, D.C., restaurants and a fellow with the Blue Ocean Institute, offers a passionate guide to sustainable seafood. He discusses essential ingredients in preparation such as salting (brining figures in his techniques), butter, and citrus, and gives a solid rundown of the particular tools for a fish kitchen, a helpful glossary of terms like "trawling" and "by catch," and a list of the best substitutions for overfished species. Organized by season, the recipes reflect available fish as well as the mood of the time of year. Pacific cod with ginger-braised asparagus, for example, is a spring dish, and mahi mahi with braised brussels sprouts and feta butter makes an appearance in fall. While Seaver's cooking style is self-described as "simple," his flavor combinations are anything but. An oyster risotto is cleverly enriched with butternut squash and crème fraiche, and grilled sablefish is brightened up with shredded endive and a cherry-tarragon salsa. Throughout, Seaver emphasizes sustainable, underrated species of fish; inventive preparations like crudo with almond oil and raisins, for instance, make mackerel more enticing."
“It’s not only vegetables that have seasons—fish do, too! And the consideration of seafood’s seasonality along with the environmental issues surrounding its consumption are long overdue. If you’re new to seafood, there’s much to learn in For Cod and Country.”
author of Vegetable Literacy
"It can be confusing, trying to navigate the waters of how to eat fish and seafood responsibly. Thankfully Seaver's book makes the subject matter much easier to comprehend, gives us choices, and makes it all delicious."
“Kudos to Barton Seaver for raising awareness about the ingredients in our food—where they come from, how they got there, and the impacts they have on the environment. By making informed choices in the kitchen, we can all make a difference in protecting the lands and waters that sustain us.”
President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy
"Barton brings you into the life of the fish and the love affair he shares with the seasons. More than just a bunch of recipes . . . a story that makes a difference!”
Chef/Owner, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood Las Vegas
“Barton serves us well by taking us from source to sauce. He shows that dinner isn‘t just a meal; it‘s our relationship with the world.”
author of Song for the Blue Ocean and The View From Lazy Point
"Barton Seaver has hit the right notes with his first cookbook."
The Washington Post
"Seaver's book vibrates with personality, practical advice, photographs (both evocative and how-to), and stovetop wisdom...The recipes in For Cod and Country allow seafood lovers to dig in with gusto—and good conscience."
“Eat a few dishes prepared by Esquire chef of the year Barton Seaver, thirty, and you’ll feel good about living on Earth...Listen to him talk about how to save us all from destroying the food chain (and ourselves in the process) and you’ll feel even better about it.”