Lara’s Mussels in White Wine – Recipe
Here at Pandau, we have the good fortune to find fresh mussels at our local farmer’s market. With fresh herbs from the garden and a loaf of crusty bread, this simple dish is our absolute favorite way to eat them!
Serves: 2 to 3 adults
30 minutes active
20 minutes inactive
2 lbs. fresh mussels
¾ cup dry white wine (we use pino grigio)
4 TBS. butter
1 to 2 large shallots, minced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced,
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. saffron threads
1 large tomato, chopped
1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, and basil
salt & pepper to taste
Note: The broth (first step) for this dish can be made ahead of time, up to 6 hours. This gives the broth a chance to deepen in flavor. I highly recommend it!
Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and saffron. Stir and allow the shallots and garlic to soften but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato & thyme, and cook just long enough for it to start to break down. Add white wine, cover, and allow to simmer gently while cleaning the mussels.
Scrub mussels under cool running water. Remove beards, and throw away any mussels that don’t close their shells.
Bring broth to a boil. Add mussels, tightly cover, and cook 5 to 7 minutes. Check to see if mussels have opened, and remove from heat immediately. You don’t want them to overcook, as they will become rubbery. Add the fresh herbs.
This step is optional, but I do it because I like a hearty broth. Remove mussels from broth. A spider skimmer is great for this job. Return broth to a boil, and reduce for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Portion mussels into bowls. Remove any that haven’t opened their shells. Ladle broth into bowls and serve with slices of crusty bread. Enjoy!
(photo by Tiago Cabral/Flickr, used under creative commons)