Remember July? The wind whipping through your hair, the smell of sunscreen, the blue sky over the beaches of Marseille. Oh, you didn't jet over to the South of France for the summer? Yeah, neither did we. But that doesn't stop us from eating like we did.
Transport yourself to a beach towel beneath clear skies with a briny, wine-y seafood stew and caramelized salad to match. Pair it with some dry white wine (hey, it's already on the grocery list) and you've got a provencal menu for anytime, anywhere. So it might as well be Dinner Tonight.
6 peeled and seeded roma tomatoes cut into thin strips (or 6 canned San Marzano tomatoes)
1 cup homemade fish stock, purchased seafood stock or clam juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound skinned saltwater fish filets (snapper, sole, halibut, cod) cut into 2-inch chunks
16 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
16 sea scallops
1/2 cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoon coriander sugar (or whisk freshly ground coriander with unrefined sugar)
1 navel orange, peeled and pith removed, fruit cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 fennel bulb, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal
1/4 cup sambuca or ouzo
Zest of 1/2 orange, for garnish
2 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped or picked, for garnish
We're assuming you have olive oil, garlic, butter, and salt and pepper. If not, be sure to pick those up, too!
1. Heat 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven or sauce pot. Add 4 cloves crushed garlic and saute on very low heat for about two minutes or until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Add the tomatoes, stock and wine and simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, on a skillet just large enough to hold your orange slices in one layer, heat 1 tablespoon butter. When it’s melted and is foaming, add the coriander sugar. When that is melted and has started to caramelized, lower heat to medium and add the orange slices. Cook 3 minutes, flip, lower heat to medium-low, cook 2 minutes more, and remove from heat.
3. In a large, deep skillet, heat some olive oil (enough to slick the bottom of the pan) over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the fennel and leek slices and sprinkle with ground coriander. Sear for 3 minutes, flip, and add 1/4 Ouzo or Sambuca. Sprinkle somewhat generously with salt and cook 3 minutes more. Remove the fennel and leeks from the heat and transfer carefully to a serving bowl. Layer the orange slices carefully over them, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and toss the fennel fronds and orange zest over.
More: Can't get enough fall salads? Work your way through these.
4. Back to the soup: add the fish and seafood to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes until just done (Don't over-cook). Stir in the parsley and basil and serve immediately, preferably with crusty bread.
Tip: The stock for the soup can be made a day ahead of time -- just reheat before adding the seafood.