Week 43: Bouillabaisse

Alice NeillAutumn, Weekly Recipes0 Comments

Serves 4

It is officially the end of our tomatoes,  I thought I would celebrate a wonderful season with this delicious dish of fish.

Bouillabaisse is a traditional French recipe, with its origins deriving from a humble stew; it would have been made with scraps of fish from the end of the catch, then stewed away with tomatoes and plenty of vegetables. The word bouillabaisse literally means ‘to stew’ or ‘simmer.’ However this dish has been elevated to a new culinary status, being served in any self respecting fish restaurant in France. Today the finest fish and selfish are used, it is a far cry from its lowly beginnings. Do not feel like you have to stick to the fish/shellfish used in this recipe, choose whatever looks the freshest at your fishmonger, however I would advise buying a firm white fish, Cod, Monkfish, Pollock, etc. Saffron may be an extravagance, being more expensive than gold, however it totally lifts this dish, you really only need a pinch to experience the full effects. Serve with a fresh, white, crusty baguette and a bowl of chilli garlic alioli.


5 Ripe Tomatoes

1 Onion

3 Cloves of Garlic

2 Sticks of Celery

1 Pinch of Saffron

200 ml White Wine

4 Scallops

Handful of Clams

Handful of Prawns

200g-300g Red Mullet


  1. Dice the onion, finely slice the celery and crush the garlic, place in a large pan with plenty of olive oil. Sweat until soft
  2. Add the white wine and leave to simmer
  3. Remove the skin from the tomatoes by hulling out the stalk and placing in boiling water for 30 seconds
  4. Remove from the water and gently pull away the skins. Roughly chop and add to the onions, leave to simmer with the lid off
  5. Pour 2 tbsp of warm water over the saffron, leave for 5 minutes and add to the sauce, season well
  6. Dice the fish into large chunks and place in the pan with the lid on
  7. After 5 minutes add the scallops and clams
  8. Finally after 3 minutes the prawns for a further 2, then serve steaming hot

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