You may have noticed that mussels are having a bit of a moment. If tasting the sheer flavor of the sea isn't reason enough for you to eat these briny bivalves, also remember that they're both incredibly affordable and a surefire sustainable seafood option.
Mussels are often served in a white wine broth or flavored with chorizo, but I love the unusual idea of them starring in a gratin. You'll learn how to execute this creative preparation when you
- 4 pounds mussels (preferably cultivated), cleaned and steamed, then shucked
2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and halves cut into sixths
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 oz)
2 large garlic cloves, 1 minced and 1 halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
15 (1/3-inch-thick) slices from a baguette
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Toss together mussels, tomatoes, basil, crème fraîche, cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in an oiled 3-quart (about 13- by 9 1/2- by 2-inch) baking dish.
- Rub 1 cut side of each bread slice with halved garlic and arrange bread, garlic side up, over mussel mixture in baking dish. Brush tops of bread with oil.
- Bake gratin in middle of oven until bread is golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.
- Serve mussels spooned over garlic toasts.
Serves 6 as a main course.
- Main Dishes, Shellfish