Mussels Are an Affordable and Easy Meal

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.

Steamed Mussels With Spicy Tomato and Herb Broth

Steamed Mussels With Spicy Tomato and Herb Broth


  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  3. 1 shallot, minced
  4. salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
  5. 1 large pinch fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  6. juice of 1 lemon
  7. 3 plum tomatoes, finely diced (save everything, juice and all)
  8. 3/4 white wine
  9. 1/4 cup water
  10. 40-45 mussels, rinsed of any grit and debreaded, if needed
  11. 2 tablespoons of butter
  12. 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh chives


  1. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large sauce pot and cook over high heat until the garlic is light golden brown.
  2. Add the shallot and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add a pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  4. Add the thyme. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, wine, and water. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the mussels and cover the pot. The mussels are cooked once they open completely. Do not continue cooking past this point, or they will shrivel and become tough. Divide the mussels evenly between two large bowls, leaving all the broth in the pot.
  6. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and whisk the butter into the broth. Add the chives, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Spoon the sauce over the mussels. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Makes 2 generous servings.

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