With most of the country in the midst of a deep freeze, I thought a ray of sunshine from the Mediterranean island of Corfu would brighten your day. From the Bon Appétit special edition on Islands of the Mediterranean (May 2002), this recipe is from Rex Restaurant on the Greek island of Corfu and is representative of Corfiote cuisine, which is more Italian than Greek due to centuries of Venetian rule. The fish bourdetto – a fish stew with tomatoes and an earthy, peppery flavor – is the highlight of the menu at Rex, where locals and tourists alike come for a relaxing meal before or after a stroll on the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town.
Corfiote Fish Stew
From Bon Appétit | 6 Servings
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
12 ounces plum tomatoes, diced (1 ¾ cups)
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
¾ cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided use
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 – 6-7 ounce pieces of cod*
* I substituted sustainable cod for the halibut in the original recipe.
1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. about 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes longer.
2. Add tomatoes, clam juice, wine, 4 tablespoons parsley and tomato paste. Boil until sauce is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to boil before continuing.)
3. Place fish in sauce; spoon sauce over fish to cover. Simmer until fish is just opaque in center, about 10 minutes. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Shown here with ciabatta toasts smeared with Truffle Aioli and more ciabatta on the side for sopping up the flavorful garlicky tomato broth. Enjoy 🙂