Winter Seafood Stew

Time: 45 minutes

This is a quick and light dinner, suffused with the sturdy flavor of fresh sage and potatoes. See the variation that follows on how to turn this into a summertime stew.


  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice or 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans (14½ ounces each) Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or ½ teaspoon dried lemon peel
  • 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 1 pound monkfish or sea scallops or combination of the two
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Finely chop the onion. Core, seed, and chop the pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep, large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and stir-fry for a moment until you hear them sizzle. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile rinse, stem, and thinly slice the mushroom caps (save the stems for soup).
  4. Add the mushrooms, clam juice, white wine, tomatoes, lemon zest, and sage to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, gently break the tomatoes into pieces right in the skillet. Simmer covered for a few minutes while you prepare the potatoes.
  5. Scrub the potatoes and cut into ¾-inch cubes. Add them to the skillet and simmer covered until tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile cut the monkfish into 1-inch pieces or remove the tough, rubbery appendage from each scallop and slice them in half if they’re big.
  7. When the potatoes are tender, stir in the seafood; simmer covered until just cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and lots of pepper.


Summer Seafood Stew: Substitute ¼ cup minced fresh basil for the sage. Substitute 2 cups of diced fresh vegetables, such as zucchini, yellow squash, or asparagus for the potatoes and simmer 3 to 5 minutes in step 5. In step 7 add ¼ pound snow peas along with the seafood.