David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

Impress your Guests with a Fennel and Langoustine Ragoût with Saffron

Who wouldn’t like to have a neighbour who can whip up a Ragoût of Fennel and Langoustine with Saffron (recipe below) for a dinner party? This savoury “stew” is served on little boxes of puff pastry.

Inspired by Provence, David decided on a pink-theme for their dinner starting with a potted salmon appetizer (watch for the recipe) and this served this impressive seafood main course. The meal was paired with three rosé wines from Mirabeau Wines, in Cotignac. Read his full post and the tempting step-by-step photos here.

fennel Langoustine Ragoût

Ragoût of Fennel and Langoustines with Saffron

This recipe seems complex, but it is actually quite easy. The "boxes' of puff pastry are easy enough to make (details below).
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 6 People


  • 1 lb (approx) All-Butter Puff Pastry either homemade or purchased
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 2 large fennel bulbs topped, cored, and diced
  • 2 large Shallots peeled and diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons Water
  • 3/4 cup Seafood Stock
  • 3/4 cup White Wine
  • 1 tsp Saffron threads
  • 3 large Plum tomatoes cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas thawed
  • 1 pound Langoustine Tails cooked
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Make 6 boxes from the puff pastry (about 4 1/2-inches square). See note below.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until deep golden-brown.
  • While the boxes are baking, make the ragoût.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add the fennel, shallot, and 3 tablespoons water; cover with a piece of rumpled parchment and cook over low heat, stirring once or twice, until the fennel and onion soften, about 10 minutes.
  • Add another tablespoon of water, if needed, to keep it moist, but don't be concerned if it browns a little. That will add to the flavor and color to the ragoût.
  • Add the stock, cover again with the parchment, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the wine and saffron, cover once again with the parchment, and let simmer 5 minutes more.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the tomatoes, peas, and langoustine tails and raise the heat to medium-high.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring, until peas are cooked but still brightly colored, and the langoustine tails are warmed through.
  • Adjust seasoning and add cream. Bring to a simmer.
  • Using a small spatula, take off the tops off the inner part of the box (where you scored the pastry).
  • Fill the boxes with ragoût, letting some spill over onto the plate. Replace the box top and serve immediately.


You can substitute shrimp for the langoustine.
To make the boxes: I use a sharp knife to cut around the edges and create a box with handles. See my illustration above in the post. (It might help to do a test using a square piece of paper so you can begin to understand the folds.) Use a little egg white to attach the strips to the bottom. Score the inside edge of the box with a sharp knife. Brush bottom with egg white, being careful the egg white doesn’t touch the sides or they won’t puff.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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