Mediterranean White Fish & Leek Stew

December 23, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

An old family recipe with a few ingredients changed to my taste = leek instead of sweet onion and vegetable broth rather than fish stock. I started making this for Christmas Eve although it is a hit throughout the year. It’s a savory, spicy, delicious recipe that is totally adaptable to the seafood you love, crave and have access to. Cooking time is primarily for simmering a sauce that brings it all together. Serve with crusty bread. —lapadia

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds white fish cut into 2 inch pieces (halibut, cod, sole, scallops or sea bass)
  • 2 large leeks-white and lighter green, cleaned thoroughly and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large sweet red, yellow or orange pepper, finely chopped (or a mix of pepper colors)
  • 2 cups celery with the hearts, finely chopped
  • 1-cup dry vermouth - 1/2 cup used at a time
  • 14 oz. canned organic tomatoes, undrained and mashed
  • 1-1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 grated lemon zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook leeks, garlic, celery and pepper until tender.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup vermouth and cook over high heat until nearly evaporated.
  3. Mix in tomatoes, broth, lemon zest, bay leaf, the last 1/2 cup vermouth and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Lower temperature and simmer; covered for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the fish (and basil-optional) simmer until fish is cooked through.
  6. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • Bevi
  • boulangere
  • inpatskitchen
  • linenlady

21 Reviews

ChefJune December 24, 2013
so glad someone asked a question about this recipe. Don't know why I hadn't noticed it before!
lapadia December 24, 2013
Hi CJ! Thanks for checking out my recipe, hope to get feedback if you make it! Cheers to the Season!!
bythesea January 27, 2013
sounds wonderful , is there anything I cn sub for the vermouth?
lapadia December 24, 2013
Yikes,bythesea,sorry late with a reply, no clue why I didn't receive notice. Anyway, I'd sub chicken broth or water and with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Myblueharry June 10, 2018
Thanks for the sub! I’m making this now!
Bevi January 7, 2013
I love this! I make a similar dish, but not with the genius addition of leeks! I have all the ingredients - making this tomorrow.
lapadia January 7, 2013
Yay! I look forward to hearing back. Love leeks and vermouth and we always have leeks in the garden so it was the right thing to use, for me. Just happened to have this recipe sitting here on Food52, figured it was the perfect time to share it.
Bevi January 8, 2013
lapadia, we just finished enjoying this. I basically cut the recipe in half, using just over a pound of fish. I substituted fire roasted tomatoes that I crushed, but did not cut down on the amount of tomatoes. It was scrumptious - hearty and satisfying on a cold winter's night. Thanks for posting this. The dish has a great flavor. And talk about easy and quick!
lapadia January 8, 2013
So happy it was enjoyed, thanks for the feedback!
boulangere January 7, 2013
What?! No pizza?! Just kidding - this looks heavenly.
lapadia January 7, 2013
:) Thanks, B, and I love your comment :)!! Looks like some others beat me to the pizza entry...
inpatskitchen January 7, 2013
Oh Yum!!! I'm actually in the process of making a seafood dish with leek and vermouth as we speak! Yours sounds heavenly!
lapadia January 7, 2013
Thanks, Pat! I love using vermouth in certain recipes, will be looking for the dish you are work on...
linenlady April 3, 2012
I made this a couple of nights ago, my only substition being white wine instead of vermouth. It had great flavor and I will make it again!!
lapadia April 3, 2012
Hi LL, love getting your feedback and I am thrilled you enjoyed it! :)
PVDcook October 30, 2011
this might be a silly question but... is it sweet or dry vermouth?
lapadia October 30, 2011
Hi, PVDcook! Not silly...I use extra dry, and I usually have Martini & Rossi around because the price is in my range...fyi. Would love to hear back after you try it :) Enjoy!
monkeymom December 24, 2010
This looks so delicious, I will definitely be trying this in the new year! Thank you for posting it.
lapadia December 24, 2010
Thanks, monkeymom! Hope to hear back after you have made this! Oh..and thanks for your BD wish, know I saw that out here somewhere:)
drbabs December 23, 2010
lapadia December 23, 2010
Thanks, drbabs! I hope you try this sometime...