BOUILLABAISSE – December 14 – National Bouillabaisse Day and Tomato and Winter Squash Month

Serves 4


  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 leek diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig of fennel leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ pound mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound sea bass, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • ⅓ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads


  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil.  Cut the area that the stems were attached to the tomato.  Using a slotted spoon carefully lower the tomatoes into the boiling water.  When the skins around where you cut start to lift slightly, about 10-20 seconds, remove from the water. Let the tomatoes cool for 1-2 minutes, until you can handle them, and then remove the skins with your fingers, they should just pull away from the tomato.  Then chop the tomato.
  2. In a large stockpot over medium heat add the olive oil, salt, onion, leeks, and tomatoes.  Cook until the onion is starting to get translucent, about 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add the fennel, thyme, bay leaf, lemon zest, lemon juice, mussels, and water.  Bring to a boil until the oil and water combine, about 3-5 minutes.  
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pepper and sea bass.  Cook for 10 minutes then add the shrimp.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes until the sea bass is opaque and tender, but still firm, and the shrimp are pink.
  5. Remove from heat and add the saffron.  Stir and serve with baguette bread.

Tomorrow: November is Tomato and Winter Squash Month.  Tomorrow’s recipe will include Winter Squash.

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