Sardine Bouillabaisse

MAKES: 6 servings
I can’t think of a good reason not to eat sardines. They’re protein-rich and high in omega-3 fats; they’re budget-friendly; and they’re relatively sustainable, so they’re an environmentally sound choice. And they shine in this simple, low-carb take on bouillabaisse, the tomato-based Provençal fish stew.

3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee or other healthy cooking fat
1 small (60 g/2.1 oz) red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (240 g/8.8 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
2 cups (480 ml) fish stock or chicken stock
1 medium (200 g/7.1 oz) fennel bulb, sliced
1 large (500 g/1.1 lb) rutabaga, cut into 1/4-inch (1/2-cm) slices
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper
2 pounds (900 g) frozen deboned sardines, thawed
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh thyme or parsley for garnish


Make the bouquet garni by placing all the herbs in a piece of cheesecloth and tying with unwaxed kitchen string.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2). Grease a large casserole dish or Dutch oven with the ghee. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, fish stock, bouquet garni, fennel, rutabaga, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, top the vegetables with the sardines, increase the heat to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4), and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes. Drizzle with the olive oil, garnish with the fresh herbs, and serve. To store, let it cool, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Total carbs: 13.2 g / Fiber: 4 g / Net carbs: 9.2 g / Protein: 32.9 g / Fat: 34.2 g / Energy: 456 kcal
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (28%), fat (64%)