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Author Notes: This is my little twist on the classic mussels steamed in white wine. I use leeks and garlic as the base alliums, and add a bit of tomato paste and a healthy does of chile flakes to the broth. Good crusty bread is absolutely non-negotiable here--you'll want to soak up as much of the tangy, salty broth as possible. —ieatthepeach
Serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as an appetizer
- 2 pounds mussels
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, unsalted butter, or a combination
- 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley
- Crusty bread for serving
- Inspect the mussels, and discard any with cracked or broken shells. If any mussels are slightly open, give them a gentle tap; if they don’t close within a few seconds, throw them out. Rinse the mussels under cold running water, and scrub with a damp cloth or a stiff brush to remove any lingering grit or dirt. If any of the mussels have their beards still attached, pull them out–you may need to use a kitchen towel to help you grip.
- In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat olive oil and/or butter over medium heat. Add leek, garlic, tomato paste, chile flakes, and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until the leeks are translucent. Add wine and lemon zest, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
- Add the mussels to the pot, and immediately cover with a lid. Give the pan a gentle shake, then let the mussels steam for 3-5 minutes, or until they’ve all opened. If any mussels don’t open after about 8 minutes, remove them from the pot and throw them away.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the parsley. Ladle the mussels into large bowls, along with their broth. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the broth.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for the Shore