To continue logging what was prepared at last night’s Rustic Pizza Dinner (type in search box for recipe) at our friend’s house I have to tell you about our mussel appetizer! The key to this turning out so delicious was the freshness of the mussels. Smell them before buying, they should give off a faint briny sea aroma, but just a bare whiff. They were so perfectly mild and scented with the perfume of salty ocean…..we wished there were more. Everyone eating out of the same bowl gave a festive air to the whole gathering – a great way to start a meal….
You will needs: 2 lbs fresh mussels, 2 or 3 scallions, 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon, 1/3 bottle white wine, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil.
Wash and scrub mussels. Slice scallions (including green parts), pluck leaves off of tarragon (keep stems). Put a big pot (large enough to hold the mussels and liquid comfortably) and turn heat to medium/high. When pot is hot add the oil and let it get warm (30 seconds or so). Add scallions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add tarragon (including stems) and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. Turn pan up to high and add mussels and white wine (we used a Sauvignon Blanc). Let pot come to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover pot and cook until mussel shells have completely opened (discard the ones that don’t). This will
take about 5 minutes but check after 4 minutes. Pour entire contents of pot into large bowl (or individual soup bowls) and eat with hands, scooping up some broth in the shell with each bite. You can make this more of a meal by adding bread for sopping. It could be a main course if you increase mussels to about 1 lb per person (increase wine to 1/2 bottle) and adding some greens to each bowl (spinach) before adding the broth and mussels to dish.