By Cat, Feb 6, 2019 (photo, right, but Cat)
I love mussels as an appetizer or a meal. But invasive, non-native mussels are not good for the waters they invade. Here in Montana, we are doing all we can to keep invasive Quagga mussels from invading our pristine waters.
I first discovered this delicious mollusk as I was walking up Kearney Street in Portland OR, past a new Italian restaurant, where a sidewalk table of customers were being served steamed mussels. The aroma was amazing, and the contented look on the customers’ faces led me to another table there, so I could enjoy them too. Mmmm. So whenever I see a new recipe using mussels and wine, my nose is aroused.
See also: 1. Fish & Seafood Menu; 2. Live Clams & Mussels: Storage, Brining and Steaming
Mussels, with Tomatoes and White Wine
This recipe is adapted from an article in the Chicago Tribune, by Nick Kindelsperger (1). It serves 2 (as a main course), or more as an appetizer, and takes about 10 minutes for prep and 10 minutes to cook.
He does not specify the type of white wine; I prefer a dry white wine such as dry vermouth.
The original recipe uses canned, crushed tomatoes, but I prefer to crush fresh tomatoes using a food mill, that separates the desired pulp from the skin and seeds. Separating out the seeds is a good thing because they contain toxic lectins.
If not using the mussels right away, it is best to brine them; see Live Clams & Mussels: Storage, Brining and Steaming.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 3 lb mussels (brined for storage if not using right away)
- 1 cup crushed fresh organically-grown tomatoes (crushed in a food mill)
- 1 yellow, sweet onion, sliced thinly
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp Kosher, or unrefined sea salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp dried oregano or marjoram
- ½ cup dry white wine, such as dry vermouth
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Crusty bread, sliced (such as sourdough baguette or ciabatta), for serving
- Food mill (see photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
- Large pot such as a saucier, stock pot, etc.
- Rinse and scrub mussels under cold water. Remove beard from mussels, if necessary. Discard any mussels that won’t close if gently pressed.
- Coarsely chop tomatoes, then crush using a food mill (see photo, above, right).
- Slice onion, thinly; mince and press garlic and add to onion.
- Chop parsley
- Heat olive oil in pot, over medium-low heat.
- Sauté onion, garlic and salt until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
- Add red pepper flakes and oregano/marjoram; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add crushed tomatoes; cook until they have slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour in wine.
- Increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil. Add prepped mussels, cover pot and cook, stirring every minute, until all the mussels have opened, 3 to 4 minutes. Discard any that don’t open.
- Turn off the heat; add the parsley.
- Divide mussels and liquid between two large bowls. Serve with crusty bread.
- Chicago Tribune article by Nick Kindelsperger: Valentine’s Day Seafood Feast: chicagotribune.com/dining/recipes/sc-food-valentines-day-shellfish-oysters-mussels-0202-story.html