After reviewing a few ways to prepare mussels, I came up with this pretty, flavorful and satisfying recipe. Works as a pretty dinner party presentation, or skip the shells and eat a bowl with chunks of bread for dipping. —SEB Market BK
Rinse mussels under cold running water in a collander or large strainer. Pick through them for cracked and damaged shells.If a shell is open and doesn't close when you touch it, discard. You're making sure that there aren't any dead mussels in the batch that can cause food poisoning.
After rinsing, go through your mussels to find any with beards. You can sharply tug the fibers off of the mussels before adding them back to the pile. If shells still feel slimy to you, rinse again while scrubbing.
let mussels rest in clear, cold water while waiting to cook.
Place a 12 inch pan on the stove andpour in 1 cup of water or enough to cover the bottom. Add in 2 tablespoons of white wine or a clear cider (i use Origin cider from Descendant Cider Co. It's flavored with ginger and cardamom). Add the mussels and cook on high for 8 minutes. Shake the cooked mussels out of their shells into the broth. Reserve shells for presentation.
While the mussels are cooking, you can be prepping for the next step. Set a small, 8 inch pan on the stove and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat on medium as you slice the garlic cloves. Add the garlic and basil to the oil and let cook. Chop your onion, then the pepper, then the tomato. Add each vegetable in turn and cover. If you want, you can add a handfull of greens,like broccoli rabe or kale. Let it cook as you tend to the mussels.
When you'e finished removing the mussels from the shells, add your cooked vegetable mixture. Season with black pepper and squeeze a lemon wedge over it for a little zing. Ladle into bowls and serve with bread and butter.
For a special presentation, arrange empty shells in a bowl, then add a mussel to each shell. Ladle in broth and a little of the vegetables. Leave the rest of the vegetables and broth in a large bowl on the table so that guests can add more to their plates if they like. Add a platter of lightly toasted baguette or sourdough chunks for dipping.