Did you know that mussels are one of the most affordable proteins around? But that's not the best thing about them: they're also quick cooking and simple to season. A hearty, brothy bowl of mussels can be on the table in under half an hour. There are many variations, the most classic perhaps is the French preparation that involves French fries. When I make them at home, I prefer to pair them with a crusty bread to soak up the succulent juices. Oftentimes, chorizo or bacon is added to the base, but this recipe, which involves fresh tomatoes, is pescaterian-friendly. Served with a mixed green salad and nice white wine, these mussels are special enough to entertain with. Interested in experimenting with shellfish? Here's the recipe.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil Makes 2 generous servings.
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
1 large pinch fresh thyme leaves, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3 plum tomatoes, finely diced (save everything, juice and all)
3/4 white wine
1/4 cup water
40-45 mussels, rinsed of any grit and debreaded, if needed
2 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Makes 2 generous servings.