Saffron-Soaked Clams Bouillabaisse
serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1/2 fennel, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 4 pounds clams (Note #1)
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter (optional) (Note #2)
- 1/4 cup fennel fronds, roughly chopped (or an equal amount of flat-leaf parsley)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Heat the olive oil in a wide pan with high sides on medium-low heat. Add the shallots, fennel, and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes: until fragrant and translucent.
- Add the wine, saffron, and bay leaf. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to let the saffron start to steep in the liquid.
- Add the tomatoes and clams. Cover, and steam until the clams just open, about 5 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat, and shake in 1 tablespoon cold butter (optional).
- Toss in the fennel fronds and orange zest, and serve immediately with baguette that has been grilled, drizzled with olive oil, and rubbed with cut fresh garlic.
- To clean the clams, put them in a large bowl of water, with a few tablespoons of flour stirred in. Put them in the fridge, and for the next hour, the clams will spit out all the sand they've been saving up inside their shells. Then, give them a quick scrub, and throw away any open shells. They're all ready to go.
- Adding cold butter to a sauce at the very end adds body and gloss. I highly recommend it, but you could certainly go without.
print this recipe