Provencal Saffron-Tomato Stew with Halibut
This makes a perfect dinner party dish and has the wonderfully rich and intense flavors so typical of Provencal cooking.
Cooking time 45 to 50 minutes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 head fennel, trimmed and chopped
pinch chili flakes
4 tablespoons Pernod or other dry anise liquor (optional)
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
½ pint fish or vegetable stock
large pinch of saffron strands
2 bay leaves
2 (6-oz each) halibut fillets
50 g (2oz) pitted black olives, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, thyme, fennel and chili flakes for 10 minutes until softened. Add the Pernod and boil rapidly until the liquid is almost totally evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, saffron, bay leaves and salt and pepper, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Cut the halibut into bite-size chunks and add to the stew with the olives and parsley, cover and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the halibut is cooked. Adjust seasonings and serve with some freshly cooked spaghetti.