I don’t eat a lot of seafood because I’m concerned about mercury and other contaminants. (We do buy Wild Alaskan Salmon once a year in bulk, though.) But. I. LOVE. Seafood. And every once in awhile I just can’t help myself.
There are relatively safe and environmentally sustainable choices out there, even in landlocked suburbia. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a Super Green List of recommendations on what’s healthy for us and our environment that I like to go by.
Last week when I broke down and asked the guy at Whole Foods if they had any caviar, he looked at me like I was a three-headed piranha. He told me caviar isn’t in season right now. I told him to tell the baby that.
No dice. So I went with option #2: scallops and chopped clams. While scallop and saffron soup is usually served in a delicate broth with all the veggies strained out, I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I mean, seriously, throw away veggies? After trying it with the herbs and veggies, I have to say those people are missing out! Here’s the recipe:
- 1 lb scallops
- 1 lb clams (chopped)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 red onion (finely diced)
- 6 garlic clove (finely sliced)
- 1 small leek (finely diced)
- 1 small fennel bulb (finely chopped)
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 large tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp saffron thread (placed in 1/2 cup hot water to infuse)
- sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tbsp chives (chopped)
- Place the clams and wine in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 3-5 minutes.
- Strain the juice from the clams and reserve.
- Heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a large stockpot.
- Add the onion, leek, fennel and garlic with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, on a medium heat.
- Add the clam juice, tomatoes, herbs, saffron in water and chicken stock.
- Bring to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the top.
- Drizzle the remaining olive oil into a frying pan.
- Cook scallops on medium heat for 1-3 minutes, depending on their size (if they are jumbo sized it may take longer).
- When the scallops are ready, place them and the clams into the soup and simmer for five minutes.
SKILL LEVEL: Beginner