delicious meatless dinner: all-vegetable bouillabaisse, crusty bread, and aioli
After weeks of having chicken and meat, we usually crave for vegetarian dishes to sort of "cleanse the palate". And Michel Richard's fishless bouillabaisse recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy an all-vegetable craving. The preparation is a bit involved so I cut it down by using frozen baby artichokes. I also used very young rainbow chard from my garden in place of baby spinach and the white parts of green onions because we don't care much for leeks. The combination of flavors is fantastic and a large bowl of this healthy and delicious green bouillabaisse is extremely satisfying specially with aioli-topped fresh out of the oven Pain à l'Ancienne.
Green Bouillabaisse With Aioli
adapted from Michel Richard's Green Bouillabaisse
4 large ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 green onions, white parts only, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ pound frozen baby artichokes
a pinch of saffron
½ tablespoon sugar
a quarter of a star anise
½ cup dry white wine
1½ tablespoons Pernod (anise liqueur)
1 sprig thyme
salt and ground black pepper
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced
1 fennel bulb, cored and julienned
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 cups baby spinach
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Remove seeds over a strainer on top of a bowl. Set aside the strainer. Grate the tomato halves directly on the bowl. Discard tomato skins. Strain to measure 1½ cups tomato water. Set aside. Discard tomato pulp or keep for another use.
- Using a peeler, remove a quarter of the orange zest. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute onion until soft. Add the green onions and minced garlic and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add sugar, star anise, saffron, and orange zest. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add artichokes, wine, Pernod, thyme, and tomato water. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Let mixture come to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until artichokes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add zucchini, celery, and fennel. Simmer until fennel is tender crisp. Turn heat off and add spinach or chard.
- Remove and discard the sprig of thyme. Transfer bouillabaisse into a serving dish and serve with slices of crusty bread and aioli.
one 4-ounce Yukon Gold potato, peeled, diced, and steamed
4 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
1 egg yolk
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grapeseed oil
fine sea salt
ground cayenne pepper
a few drops of lemon juice
- Put potato, garlic, egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon oil in a blender. Blend until potato is fully mashed. With blender running on high, slowly drizzle the oil, stopping to scrape down the sides when necessary, until mixture has thickened.
- Season aioli with cayenne, lemon juice, and sea salt to taste. Transfer into a jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.