One-Pot Wonders

Mediterranean Fish Stew

March 26, 2013
7 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

I love fish and seafood stews and I love pairing fish with fennel...the flavors are intoxicating. A loaf of crusty bread finishes this off. —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

Heady yet subtle, this stew’s exotic scents will have you swimming instantly in warm crystal seas. The first bite takes you deeper, past flavors you can barely touch -- the floral essence of fennel, the nigh undetectable savory of anchovy, the glow of saffron, each more exhilarating than the last. Finally, you look back down. Your bowl is empty. Wait. Is there more? There has to be more. Oh god, please let there be more. —Nicholas Doyle

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 small leeks, pale green and white parts only, sliced lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch half moons
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed a bit
  • one 14 1/2-ounce can Roma tomatoes, chopped, with the juices reserved (or if you have beautiful fresh Romas in season, peel, seed and chop 5 or 6)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
  • 4 cups clam juice
  • 4 medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup small black olives ( I used nicoise, but small kalamatas work also)
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless saltwater white fish such as cod, halibut, or pollock, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Gently heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven, add the anchovies, and sauté until the anchovies break up and sort of disintegrate. Add the leeks and fennel slices and continue to sauté until the leeks are soft but not browned.
  2. Stir in the minced garlic, saffron, and ground fennel seed, and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the wine, tomatoes, clam juice, and potatoes. Bring the mixture up to the boil and then down to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Add the olives and the fish and simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes or until the fish turns opaque.
  5. Stir in the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve warm with your favorite crusty bread or baguette!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Joe
  • yeast lady
    yeast lady
  • inpatskitchen
  • cwebs

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

5 Reviews

Joe March 20, 2023
I’ve made this many times.
Very easy to make and absolutely fabulous .
I make it according to the directions.
I use pitted Taggiasca olives, they are great on this stew!
cwebs October 23, 2020
Love this!! One of the best, I used black fish that my son caught, it was amazing.
The flavors of saffron subtle brininess of the anchovies with the fennel wonderful!
inpatskitchen October 23, 2020
Thanks so much cwebs! We have many fish stew recipes but this is one of our favorites!
yeast L. March 25, 2014
I am very tempted to add some heavy cream to this recipe. Any thoughts on the wisdom of that move?
inpatskitchen March 26, 2014
Hi AndreaHD! I would make the stew as is and then if you feel cream might benefit add it at the very end.