• 3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tblsp tomato purée
  • 100 ml dry vermouth or dry riesling
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half or 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into narrow 3cm-long strips
  • black pepper and sea salt
  • 200 g fresh cod fillets cut into 2cm cubes
  • 200 g frozen prawns
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tblsp mayonnaise


  • It sounds a little strange, but fish stew with a garlic mayonnaise is actually a classic combination. It also manages to tick some very important boxes: it's reasonable to make, healthy and utterly delicious. If you want to make your own mayonnaise, I won't stand in your way but, to be honest, it's an awful lot easier to make the cheat's version - it's cheating in a good cause!
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and soften the diced onion, letting it go a little golden.
  • Add the garlic and let it soften. Add the tomato purée and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up and pour in the vermouth or wine; let it bubble for a minute to burn off the alcohol then add the water in which it has been soaking. Turn the heat down to low.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan, followed by the sliced peppers and turn the heat back up and bring to simmering point. Taste and season.
  • Add the white fish and the prawns to the pan. Gently stir the stew and return to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Check that the pieces of fish are cooked through. Taste again and add more seasoning if you think it's needed.
  • Sprinkle on the chopped parsley and serve in deep bowls with a dollop of cheat's garlic mayonnaise on top.


  • Put the clove of garlic onto a chopping board and bruise it with the flat of a knife, remove the skin and cut off the root end and discard.
  • Grate the garlic very finely into a bowl and sprinkle on the salt.
  • Pour in the lemon juice and stir well with a fork, add the olive oil and the mayonnaise.
  • Whisk well together with the fork.


Tom's top tips: Replace the peppers with a bulb of fennel. Add a splash of Ouzo with the wine. Any combination of fish and shellfish could be used. Oily fish such as mackerel or herring aren't great for this recipe.