Chunky Tilapia Stew with Rouille

Head of fennel :1
Rapeseed oil: 4 tbsp
Large onion, finely chopped: 1
Celery sticks, diced: 2
Small leek, cleaned and sliced: 1
Generous pinch of saffron, optional:
Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Dried red chilli: 2 tsp
Cans chopped tomatoes: 2 x 400g
Snipped bay leaves: 4
White wine: 250ml
Fish stock or vegetable stock: 1.5 litres
Fresh basil: Small bunch
Fresh coriander: Small bunch
Fresh dill: Small bunch
Fresh flat-leaf parsley: Small bunch
Lemon juice, to taste: 1 tbsp
Tilapia fillets, skin removed: 1kg
Sea salt and black pepper:


Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Prepare the base of the stew (this can be done in advance). Quarter the fennel, lengthways, discard the central core and dice the remaining flesh. In a large, heavy-based pan, heat half of the oil, add all of the prepared vegetables and cook until soft but not coloured, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Add the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and bay.

leave and simmer until the tomato juice has really reduced.

Add the wine, bring to the boil and reduce by half. Pour on the stock, bring up to the boil and then reduce by half.

Finish with the herbs, using just the leaves, roughly chopped and season with sea salt, black pepper and lemon juice.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook the fish for 2 minutes each side, season with sea salt and black pepper.

Add the fish to the stew and spoon the stew into bowls. Garnish with chopped herbs, if required.

Serve with aioli, crusty bread and rouille.

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