Garlicky aioli is the perfect accompaniment to this saffron-flavoured fish stew, which is thickened with roasted almonds.
15 saffron threads
125ml/4fl oz boiling water
225g/8oz salmon fillet
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
1 dried chilli, finely chopped
2 rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
24 clams, scrubbed clean
85g/3oz flaked almonds
For the aïoli, put the egg yolks in a food processor, add the garlic and pulse briefly. With the machine running, gradually trickle in the oil to form a thick smooth emulsion. Season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
For the fish, leave the saffron and boiling water to infuse in a small bowl. Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and set aside.
Fry the onion in the olive oil for five minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the garlic, fennel, chilli and herbs. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the fennel is very soft.
Pour in the vinegar, wine and infused saffron and water. Turn up the heat and cook for two minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Tip into a food processor and pulse briefly, or crush using a pestle and mortar. Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally; then cut both slices in half again. Rub each piece with garlic and set aside.
Add the fish to the pan, along with the nuts. Cook for five minutes and then stir in the clams and simmer for another five minutes, or until the fish is tender and the clam shells have opened.
Toast the ciabatta until golden-brown. Serve the fish in warmed bowls with the ciabatta and aïoli.
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