Sassy Radish

Fish Stew with Fennel and Potatoes
Liberally adapted from Bon Appetit

The first time I made the stew, it was comforting but a bit bland. So I took some liberties and kicked it up in the flavor department. I added some shallots for mellow sweetness, and lemon juice in the end, to brighten up a lovely but somewhat lackluster sauce. When I doubled the recipe (I don’t think that the initial amount can comfortably feed 4 people – more like 2), I took the oil and garlic down a notch as both seemed a bit too heavy. Having made pretty regularly for the last four months or so, I can say that this dish works wonders with young spring garlic or garlic scapes. If you’re making this in the dead of winter, go easy on the garlic – as it can be quite dominant a flavor.

1/3 cup olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound small waxy potatoes (such as baby Yukon Gold), scrubbed, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large fennel bulb, finely chopped
3 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup crème fraîche
3 pounds skinless flounder or fluke fillet, cut into 4-inch pieces (cod and hake can also work)
4 to 5 sprigs plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook shallots, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add fennel and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is soft, about 2 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes.

2. Add 3 cups water to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes (err on the more cooked side for potatoes, they can retain their firmness a bit longer). Stir in crème fraîche. Add flounder and dill sprigs, cover pot, and reduce heat. Simmer until fish is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Fish out dill sprigs from stew and discard. Stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped dill.

Serves 4.

fish stew with fennel and potatoes originally published on

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