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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Simple bouillabaisse recipe captures essence of French dish


On a recent trip to the South of France, we enjoyed a delicious bouillabaisse. It’s a traditional Provencal dish filled with seafood in a rich sauce. I wanted to re-create the memory and flavors of the meal, but for a quick and easy dinner. This is a simple version with the essence of a French bouillabaisse.

The dish is made with mussels. Keep the mussels in the refrigerator. Wash them in cold water before using. If any mussels are open, tap them gently. Discard any that do not close.

Helpful Hints:

  • You can use any type of fish fillet. Follow the timing in the recipe.
  • You can substitute celery for fennel.
  • You can use bijol, seasoning made with annatto seed, instead of saffron.
  • You can find clam juice in the grocery section of the market.


Yield 2 servings. Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/4 teaspoon saffron

1 tablespoon hot tap water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup sliced onion

1 cup thinly sliced fennel

2 teaspoons minced garlic

11/2 cups chopped fresh tomato

6 ounces peeled shrimp

1 cup clam juice

4 mussels

6 ounces fish fillet such as tilapia, snapper or grouper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

4 slices whole wheat baguette

Olive oil spray

Add the saffron to the tablespoon of water to soak. Set aside. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes and fennel. Saute 5 to 6 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish fillet, skin side down, and brown each side, about 3 minute each. Divide in half and place the fish and shrimp in two large soup bowls, leaving the vegetables in the saucepan. Add clam juice and mussels to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

When mussels open, remove them to the bowls. Add the saffron and liquid to the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix well. Pour the broth over the fish in the soup bowls and sprinkle parsley on top. Spray the whole wheat baguette with the olive oil spray and toast in a toaster oven or under the broiler. Serve the bouillabaisse and baguette.

Per serving: 455 calories (25% from fat), 12.8 g fat (1.9 g saturated, 5.6 g monounsaturated), 176 mg cholesterol, 44.3 g protein, 42.6 g carbohydrates, 5.6 g fiber, 772 mg sodium.