All of the Zaninovich “Nonas” (grandmothers) made this easy recipe, marrying the fruit of their Croatian Adriatic Sea and the fruit they grew on the islands of Hvar and Vis. Served with crusty bread, it is a delicious one-pot meal.
1 bunch red California seedless grapes, stemmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, with juice
2 cups fish stock
24 small little-neck clams, scrubbed
1 lb firm white fish, such as halibut, sea bass, snapper, cut into 2-inch chunks
handful of chopped parsley
lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
salt and pepper to taste
Crusty bread for serving
Into large Dutch oven over medium-high heat stovetop, heat olive oil and add chopped onion, stirring and cooking until translucent, about 3 minute. Add minced garlic, cooking 30 more second, stirring constantly.
Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaf and wine. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, breaking the tomatoes up slightly with a spoon. Add fish stock and let simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. (The broth can be made ahead at this point.)
Add the clams to simmering pot and cover; cook for 2 minutes, then add the fish and cover again. Cook until the clams have fully opened and the fish is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. (Discard any clams that do not open.)
At this point, stir in the red grapes to just warm them up for a minute.
Remove from heat, add the chopped parsley and stir in the salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve with fresh, crusty bread.
The origins of this recipe go back to Dalmatian fishermen and the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. A number of famous San Francisco fish houses were started by Dalmations, including the wildly popular Original Joe’s in North Beach. Many continue to serve delicious variations of Croatian cioppino today. Read more here!
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