You're going want to save this Mediterranean diet recipe.
Stews are the perfect comfort food. They’re warm, flavorful, and slurp-able: three essential criteria for a cozy meal.
This Mediterranean stew features fish (a heart-healthy protein) and saffron, a luxurious ingredient that adds vibrant red color and a distinct flavor. When buying saffron, don’t be intimidated by the price. It may seem costly per ounce; however, it is a potent spice and a little goes a long way. Most saffron recipes will only call for a few “threads” of saffron, or just a pinch of powdered saffron.
In this episode of To Eat With Love, our Mediterranean diet cooking show, nutritionist Fiorella DiCarlo, RD, CDN, shows how you’ll start making Saffron Fish Stew with olive oil, diced onion, and garlic. To give this saffron fish stew its Mediterranean diet twist, add crushed fennel seeds, coriander, and fresh thyme, which are common spices in this region. Finally, some bright grated orange rind and a bit of saffron will help you add unique flavor while keeping the salt content low.
The broth for this saffron fish stew is made from diced tomatoes, clam juice, and water. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin A and lycopene, which is the antioxidant found in many red fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and guavas. Tomatoes have a high concentration of lycopene, and cooking the tomatoes actually makes the lycopene easier for your body to use.
The best part about this stew is that the fish can be added directly to the stew—no extra frying or roasting needed! This saffron fish stew uses flounder, which should be cubed into bite-size pieces. Flounder is a lean fish, has omega-3 fatty acids (the good fat!), and has a lower level of mercury than most kinds of fish.
The last ingredient for this fish stew recipe is white beans. This plant-based protein adds fiber, iron, and a starchiness that rounds out the stew. It’s also surprisingly good source of non-dairy calcium.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh orange rind
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups clam juice
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/8 teaspoon salt [2 dashes]
- 1 pound founder fillet, cut into (4) 2-inch pieces
- 1 (14-ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained [1 3/4 cup)
- Fresh thyme leaves [1 tsp]
Instructions1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, coriander, garlic, and thyme sprig; sauté 5 minutes. 2. Stir in rind and saffron; add water, clam juice, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. 3. Stir in salt, fish, and beans; cook 5 minutes. 4. Top with thyme leaves.
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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Hi, I'm Fiorella and
we are making Mediterranean comfort food,
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saffron fish stew with white beans.
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And we're gonna start with
our extra virgin olive oil.
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And this is an amazing,
amazing, amazing ingredient for
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heart healthy omega fats and
monounsaturated fats as well.
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For our next base we have our beautiful
white onion which is gonna be the base of
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this great soup.
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And is high antioxidant content and
value to it, it's an antimicrobial and
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has quercetin in it, which is very much
an anti-inflammatory for the body.
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The next we're going to do is
we're gonna also add garlic,
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give is that extra spicy kick as well.
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The next thing we're going to add is
our crushed fennel seeds, coriander,
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as well is gonna lend to a little
bit more of the savory-ness.
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And together it's going to be this
amazing aroma of all of these spices
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that are very,
very typically Mediterranean.
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Now we have our fresh sprig of thyme here,
which is also very nice.
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And I'm gonna take this and we're gonna
crush it just a bit with our hands.
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Just to release some of those enzymes in
there that make it a potent antioxidant.
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We're gonna go ahead and do that.
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And the reason why we want antioxidants
in our diet is because they quench
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the free radicals that age our body and
cause inflammation in our body.
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Now also here we have a little
bit of a grated orange rind.
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Today we're going to put it
in here to liven up the soup
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to give it an extra freshness.
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This is smelling amazing right now.
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And then, of course,
I'm gonna add finally, saffron.
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Saffron is one of the most luxurious
spices of the Mediterranean.
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It has a long history.
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It was first cultivated about
7,500 years ago in Persia.
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So we have our ingredients at
the bottom of the pan simmering and
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we're gonna go ahead and
we're gonna add our diced tomatoes and
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this is gonna add some great vitamin C and
lycopene to this dish.
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We're gonna add our clam juice
as a base to our fish just
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to enhance the seafood flavor.
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And we're going to then put
a bit of water in as well.
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And this is going to be
the base of our soup.
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We're going to keep that going for
about five minutes on a boil and
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then we're gonna add our next ingredients.
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So today we're going to use a very
lean flounder for our fish.
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For those with diabetes,
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this is a great choice to have to
have a really fish filled diet.
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Next, we're going to
put in our white beans.
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This white bean works really
well with a fish stew.
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The beautiful part about beans is that
it takes that starchy quality and
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replaces carbohydrates at meals so
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Okay, so now we're gonna plate
our beautiful, sumptuous,
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luxurious saffron fish stew.
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Thank you for joining us.
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I'm Fiorella Di Carlo and
I'll see you next time.
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