The other week I was pleasantly surprised to find that my local Rewe had packets of fresh mussels in the fridge sourced from Belgium. Mussels are at their most succulent right now as they thrive in the cold water which is why I am happily making the most of mussel season and snapping up packets during my supermarket visits! You can also find mussels at a favourite market of mine, Mitte- Meer or the Galeria Kaufhof often have a good selection on offer.
I find that mussels make for an easy and impressive meal. They are quick to prepare and taste delicious. The tomato and basil broth give this dish that added flavour and I serve some griddled ciabatta slices on the side to soak up all the leftover juices.
Ingredients: serves 2
500g carton tomato passata
Small bunch of fresh basil (finely chopped) (plus a few extra leaves for garnish)
Juice of half a lemon
200ml white wine
200ml vegetable stock
1 onion (peeled and finely diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and 1 left whole and the other 3 crushed)
1kg fresh mussels
4 ciabatta slices
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
Salt/ black pepper
Heat 1 tbspn olive in a large/ deep pan. Add the onions and crushed garlic to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook on a gentle heat for around 3 – 4 minutes.
Pour in the passata and then mix in the lemon juice, black pepper and chilli flakes. Pour in the wine and stock and leave to gently simmer for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the basil and then add the mussels. Place a lid on the pan and turn to a medium/ high heat. Leave the mussels to cook for around 8- 10 minutes or until their shells have opened up.
While the mussels are steaming heat a griddle pan. Rub the clove garlic on each side of the ciabatta slices and then add to the pan. Griddle on each side for 1 – 2 minutes on a high heat.
Take the mussels off the heat and give them a stir and season with a bit more black pepper. Spoon the mussels in a serving bowl with plenty of the tomato broth. Garnish with some fresh basil leaves.
Serve with the bread and some lemon wedges on the side.
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