One Pot Stop: (A Very Unspanish) Catalan Fish Stew

This stew is actually an easy Catalan Fish Stew… with a twist (hence its title). The first time I made this dish it was surprisingly successful (rare for most food-related things I touch). This stew is absolutely perfect for those chillier autumn nights, the warm comfort of vegetables and the chewy companion of lentils make for a perfect marriage. I highly suggest you not skip out on the rucola — the peppery flavor actually adds much-needed contrast to the stew.


(Non-Spanish) Catalan Fish Stew
Serves 4
Adapted from Food & Wine and Yumsugar

When I make this, it always turns out more like a vegetable stew than a fish stew, so feel free to adjust the vegetables to taste!


1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan)
200 grams of orange roughy fillet (or any other fish with white meat)
½ garlic clove, finely minced
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, finely chopped into small cubes
2 cups of yellow lentils cooked according to the packaging instruction
A handful of black pitted olives (roughly 15, depending on your hand!)
1 tablespoon of capers (optional)
A handful of Rucola (for garnish and for more veggies)
Salt and pepper to taste

Turn on your stove to high heat and pour enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan. While it is heating up (be patient, most college kitchens won’t have the latest cooking technology) take your fish and cut it into small bite-sized cubes. Dry your fish with paper towels and place the pieces gently in to your pan. Don’t overcrowd your pan, as you just want the fish’s exterior to brown (it may stick a little to the pan, but don’t worry about that). Remove the fish once it has crisp edges (it doesn’t have to be cooked) and soak off the excess oil with paper towels.

Keep the heat high and add the garlic and red onion to the pan, letting the veggies fry gently in your fish-infused oil (no-fuss fancy oil!), stirring for about half a minute. Turn your heat down to low and add your tomatoes, stirring gently until the tomatoes soften. Add your lentils and continue stirring on low heat. Pour some water or fish broth in to your stew at this point if you find it too thick. Finally, throw in your fish, olives and capers and let it all simmer together on low heat for a minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, scoop your stew into a deep dish and drizzle some olive oil and fresh ground pepper all over. Finally, balance a large handful of fresh rucola right on your stew mound. Dig in!

Stephanie is a recent adoptee of the pescetarian slow-carb diet. She also likes pretending to be Danish and eats lots of Danish Dream Cake. In her spare time, Stephanie likes to shop for her ever-expanding collection of mustard.

Originally posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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