Some stews are of the stick-to-your-ribs, hearty variety while others are light and won’t weigh you down. This low-fat recipe is in the latter category, and that seems just right for our tentative lean into spring.
If you have qualms about cooking fish — fear of overcooking, lingering odors — you can place them on hold. The tomato-y broth flavors the onion, potatoes and chunks of cod, rendering them tender in no time. The aroma is faintly sweet, with a touch of garlic.
Lemon zest and a finishing squeeze of lemon juice brighten the pot.
Have warm corn bread or crusty bread on hand for sopping up what’s left in the bowl.
Garlic and Tomato Fish Stew
4 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth, preferably no-salt-added
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
8 small Dutch Gold potatoes (yellow-fleshed)
12 ounces cod fillets
Freshly ground black pepper
Leaves from 4 stems parsley
Cut the garlic cloves into very thin slices, discarding any green sprouts within. (Why? See the NOTE, at the end.) Cut the onion into thin half moon slices. Scrub the potatoes well, then cut them into halves or quarters (bite-size).
Use a Microplane zester to grate a teaspoon of lemon zest from the lemon half, then cut the fruit into wedges for serving.
Cut the fish into large chunks, then season it all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, lemon zest and onion; cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the broth, add the tomatoes with their juices (crushing the tomatoes as you go) and the potatoes. Cover and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork, and then add the chunks of fish. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, until the fish is opaque and cooked through. Taste the broth and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Chop the parsley leaves. Divide the stew among wide, shallow bowls. Top with the parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.
NOTE: The green germ found in some garlic cloves can taste bitter, so we remove it.