On Line Cookbook

Bouillabaisse with Saffron and Leeks

Recipe Information
Fast and easy—a few threads of saffron give it a deep golden color and exotic flavor.

Dover Canyon Winery

Serves/Makes:4 or more

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 cups (475 ml) mirapoix: 3 medium carrots, diced, 1 white onion, diced, 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 leek
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups (950 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 cup (225 ml) clam broth
  • 1 cup (225 ml) white wine
  • Saffron, a tiny pinch (available from Penzey s Spices)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh chopped herbs, optional tarragon, chives, or thyme
  • 2 lbs (.9 kg). to 3 lbs (1.4 kg). mixed shellfish clams, mussels, prawns, crab legs and claws
  • 1 lb (.5 kg). to 2 lbs (.9 kg). mixed seafood scallops, salmon, squid, cod, halibut, etc., cut into 2-3 pieces
  • In a ten-quart pot, warm the olive oil and add the mirapoix (diced carrots, onion and celery).
  • Saute over medium-low heat until the vegetables are soft and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pull the leeks outer leaves apart slightly, and cut a 1/4 inch groove down its length.
  • Rinse the leek thoroughly, as sand tends to collect inside them.
  • Drain and slice leeks, discarding the green ends.
  • Add the leek, garlic, and ginger to the olive oil and stir until delicately translucent.
  • Taste the sauteed mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the chicken and clam broth, wine, two or three threads of saffron, and the herbs.
  • Warm over medium heat until broth is hot but not simmering.
  • Peel shrimp and carefully clean clams or mussels, discarding any that are not closed tightly.
  • Scrub away sand and beards.
  • Add clams or mussels first and bring the bouillabaisse to a boil, watching carefully, for about 5 minutes, until they pop open.
  • Discard any bivalves that do not open.
  • Turn the heat down to low, add the mixed seafood and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat.
From "Fresh from Dover Canyon" Serve with large chunks of fresh baked bread and sage butter.

Wine suggestion: The light flavors of broth and seafood go well with viognier and chardonnay, but saffron gives this dish a dark yellow color and exotic aroma that also go well with pinot noir and sangiovese.