Bourride (Mediterranean Fish Stew)


by Chef Laura Frankel,  LaurasKosherKitchen

Traditionally this Mediterranean fish stew is garnished with grilled toast that has been schmeared with aioli. For Passover, I am leaving out the toast (duh!) and adding creamy fingerling potatoes to the delicious concoction to add a bit of heartiness. A generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and dollop of garlicky aioli and you have an amazing entrée or starter for the Seder or Chol Hamoed days.


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium leeks (white parts only), sliced thinly
3 medium carrots, sliced thinly
1 large fennel bulb, sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of crushed red chili flakes (optional)
2 15–ounce cans of plum tomatoes with their juices, crush the tomatoes with your hands*
2 teaspoons saffron threads
1 FRESH bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1 quart fumet (fish stock)
1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins
2 pounds skinless halibut filets (or other lean fish such as: snapper or cod) cut into large chunks
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

Suggested garnishes: homemade aioli (see recipe below), fresh chervil, additional lemon and orange zest


Place a large saucepan or stock pot, coated with the olive oil, over medium heat. Sweat the leeks until they are very soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes). Add the carrots and fennel and continue cooking until all of the vegetables have softened (about 15 minutes). Add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is very fragrant (about 2 minutes).

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the halibut, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. The Bourride can at this point be cooled and stored, covered, in the refrigerator and brought back to a simmer before serving.

About 20 minutes before serving, bring the Bourride to a simmer, add the fish pieces and simmer, covered, until the fish is firm and opaque (about 15 minutes).

Divide the Bourride in large serving bowls, generously drizzle with tasty extra virgin olive oil, dollop with aioli and sprinkle with fresh chervil.


Yield: Serves 4-6

Chef Laura Ingredient Hint
*When tomatoes are not in season, I only purchase whole canned tomatoes for 2 reasons. I want to decide how large I want my tomato pieces to be, not the processor and when the tomatoes are whole I am assured of their quality. A chopped tomato in the can was probably not the best tomato to start with and was chosen to be chopped. The canner saved the best quality tomatoes and chose to keep those whole. Those are the tomatoes I want and so do you!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aioli
The butter of Provence! This creamy and delicious aioli trumps the store bought stuff and is easy to make. The aioli can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be sure to choose an extra virgin olive oil that has a soft and subtle flavor. I favor a product from France that is buttery with an apricot flavored finish.


4 egg yolks
3 garlic cloves, mashed to a puree with a knife or food processor
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy filets, optional
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 cups best quality extra virgin olive oil


In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the garlic, lemon juice, anchovies (if using) and salt and pepper until a smooth paste.

Drop by drop, whisk in the olive oil until a thick aioli begins to form. You can do this in a food processor or by hand (I DO IT ALL THE TIME BY HAND AND HAVE KILLER BICEPS!).

Once the aioli begins to form, you start to add the oil in a bit faster. If the aioli appears to be too thick, add a bit more lemon juice.

Store the aioli covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

Recipes: Fish, Fish Stew, Kosher, Passover Friendly

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