I’ve hit the point in winter where my mind and body are screaming for fresh vegetables, but my feelings just really want all of the carbs. When I was inspired to make these mussels the other day (because superstore had them on sale for $4.98/kilo), I had originally intended to make moules frites before I was talked down from the greasy potato ledge by a large bin of deliciously crisp looking fresh green beans and another large bin of succulent, jewel-like heirloom cherry tomatoes who got all up in my grill upon walking into the store.
Well played, superstore. Well played. Thanks for keeping me on the dietary straight and narrow.
So, aside from the mussels, my whole plan for the meal changed and my body and brain were very thankful because the last thing they needed was another stodgy, brown meal. My feelings weren’t even hurt.
There’s still a bit of carbs in the form of baguette because not having a vehicle to get this deliciously vibrant and tangy sauce from bowl to mouth would just be wrong, but it’s just a wee bit o’ carbs.
I want to say this recipe serves two, but three is probably a safer bet. The mister and I polished off all of the mussels because priorities, but there were quite a few beans and tomatoes and broth left over, which is perfect next day over rice in case you don’t have a third.
What you need:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 rib celery, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup dry, white wine
- 1 cup of chicken, fish or veg stock
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 250 g fresh, green beans, cleaned, trimmed and halved
- 1 kg fresh mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup of leek, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chiffonaded
- Baguette slices, brushed with olive oil and toasted
What you do:
- In a dutch oven over med-high heat, warm 1 tbsp of the olive oil, then toss in the cherry tomatoes and heat until browned and bursting. Remove the tomatoes from the pot and set aside.
- To the pot, add the remaining olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.
- Deglaze with the wine, then add the stock, the nutmeg and beans and bring to a boil.
- Return the tomatoes to the pot and add the mussels, spreading them evenly around the pot to keep them in a single layer as much as possible.
- Lid the pot and steam for about 5 minutes, or until the mussels have fully opened.
- Now is a good time to prep your bread.
- Once the mussels are done, use a slotted spoon to move them and the veg to a serving bowl.
- To the dutch oven, add the butter, leeks and mustard, bring to a boil (increase heat, if necessary) and reduce by about half.
- Stir in the parsley and basil, then ladle the broth over the mussels and veg.
- Serve in bowls or, if you want to be really romantic, share a large bowl between you with the toasted bread on the side for sopping up the broth. Don’t forget a bowl for the empty mussel shells!