Quick-Braised Fish With Baby Potatoes & Greens September 5, 2023

I’m about to give you a magic wand to make any mild-mannered fish delicious! With a few all-star pantry staples and no time at all, you can take any fish dinner and make a brothy-delicious sauce or stew for it. Check out the original recipe here! 


  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, green shoots removed, or 4 green garlic cloves
  • 2 anchovies, rinsed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 x 200g fresh fish fillets (firm, mild fish)
  • 500g baby potatoes, cut into quartes
  • 400g asparagus (can substitute another green like spinach or peas)
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil


  1. Crush saffron threads between your fingers and place in a small bowl or ramekin. Add 1 tablespoon warm water and set aside.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, pound together almonds, garlic and anchovies along with a pinch of salt into a paste. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy straight-sided skillet or wide saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper. Then when oil is hot, sear fish for 1 minute on each side, remove to a plate or platter.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add anchovy paste to pan. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan, until garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in 3 cups water and stir to deglaze bottom of pan.
  5. Add potatoes and a pinch of salt. (Don’t salt to taste now or broth will become too salty when reduced later.) Bring to a boil then add saffron with soaking water, reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully add seared fish fillets and asparagus to pan. Tip in any liquid that has accumulated on the plate or platter, and bring back to a bare simmer. Cover and poach gently for 5 minutes, or until fish is opaque and asparagus is tender. With a slotted spoon or tongs, carefully remove fish fillets to 4 warm wide soup bowls. (If your fish fillets start to break apart, don’t worry! Re-brand this as more of a seafood stew and it will still be delicious.) If necessary, simmer asparagus for another minute or 2. It should be tender but not too soft.
  7. Divide potatoes and asparagus among the bowls. Turn up heat and reduce liquid in pan by half, stirring. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in parsley and basil and simmer 20 to 30 seconds. Spoon broth over fish and vegetables and serve.



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