Sunday Supper: Fish and Mussel Stew with Green Olives

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Sunday Supper: Fish and Mussel Stew with Green Olives

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.

This stew has many of the same ingredients of a bouillabaisse, but comes together with a few simple steps. Adding the fish in two stages allows the first addition to break down and fortify the tomato broth, and the second to add some meaty substance to the final product. This stew is great with a simple loaf of Italian bread, but would go very well with some thick pasta (like pappardelle) and a big green salad.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Boston where she completed her graduate work in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2009, after a Professional Chef diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Find more information at (or read

  • Yield:4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes
  • Rated:


  • Olive oil
  • 1 bulb of fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets, divided
  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds mussels
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped green olives
  • green onion, thinly sliced (optional)


  1. 1.

    Heat olive oil in large skillet; once the oil is shimmering, add fennel and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add leek and garlic and cook until those ingredients start to soften, about 5 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Add plum tomatoes to pan, squishing each tomato between fingers, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, and season to taste with salt and pepper, then add half of tilapia. Cook until fish begins to flake apart, then add rest of tilapia and all the mussels. Cover with lid and cook until the fish is cooked and all the mussels are open, about 12 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Once fish and mussels are cooked, add green olives and toss together. Serve with a light red wine and plenty of bread for dunking.