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This is a favorite meal in our home for company, and it will nourish your heart and brain as it is loaded with healthy nutrients. Ensure you buy very fresh fish and shellfish. Vary vegetables and seafood according to availability.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Simmering time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 (makes about 8-10 cups)


1 Tbsp         Virgin olive oil

1 medium    Onion, chopped

1/4 tsp         Sea salt

1 cup            Mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp             Italian herbs, dried (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil)

¼ tsp            Black pepper, ground

3 large          Carrots, chopped

1 med-large  Fennel (or 3 celery stalks) Cut away any tiny roots from the base, remove stems & leaves.                         Chop fennel bulb into ½-inch pieces.

1 cup            Red wine

1 medium     Red bell pepper, remove seeds, stem, and chop

1 cup            Chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce

2 cups          Vegetable or fish broth, low sodium

1 pound        Mussels and/or clams in the shell, scrubbed clean

1 pound        Whitefish, cut into 1-inch pieces (tilapia, cod, snapper, catfish—whichever is fresh)

1/2 pound     Shrimp, large, peeled and deveined (or crab legs in the shell)

8 large          Sea scallops

½ cup           Parsley, chopped


Heat a large stew pot over medium-high heat. Add oil, then onions, salt, mushrooms, herbs, black, pepper, and stir for 2 minutes. Add carrots and fennel and cook another 2 minutes. Add wine to de-glaze for 30 seconds while stirring (the wine helps release the onions sugars stuck to the pan). Add bell pepper, tomato sauce, broth and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak fish, shrimp, and scallops in orange juice or milk for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain when ready to add to pot.

Bring another pan with a steamer tray to a boil, add muscles and/or clams and cook until they open, 5-6 minutes. Drain, saving 1 cup of clam-mussel liquid from steaming and set aside.

Increase temperature under the large stew pot to medium-high and add fish, shrimp, and scallops. Heat 4-5 minutes, until shrimp are pink and fish is cooked. Add drained mussels and clams, plus 1 cup of clam-mussel liquid and simmer another minute.

Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with parsley. This stew is fabulous accompanied with a tossed green salad on the side or as a second course. Be sure to set table with a second batch of large bowls for discarded shells.


Steven Masley, MD