Mussels Infused with Garlic and Wine. So, it is nearly time to say goodbye to mussels for a few months as the spawning season approaches. This winter, we enjoyed some fabulous mussels, huge and tasty. Research suggests that farmed mussels (and other farmed bivalves) appear to have a minimal environmental impact when farmed responsibly. It would also seem they are one of the most sustainable seafood.
With a generous dose of omega-3s full of protein, mussels are affordable and super easy to cook. The only downside is cleaning and de-bearding unless, of course, your fishmonger has a mussel washer. I was happy to pay the slightly higher price for cleaned mussels! I remember being in southern Italy some years ago, where mussel washers were the norm.
It is worth scrubbing and cleaning your mussels well. I am a lazy cook, but this sauce is ruined if it’s gritting and sandy. Throw anything out that you are not sure about. Buy fresh from the fishmonger – the difference is night and day. The best, of course, are those freshly harvested by your own fair hands; gather only as much as you need (collecting mussels is super addictive) and from a safe source. Here is a good guide for that.
Cleaning is the only downside; the actual cooking takes no time. Serve with homemade ‘Pommes Frites. Also, try deluxe creamed potatoes, which you can add to the sauce at the end. Pure bliss, enjoy your Mussels Infused with Garlic and Wine.
For more dishes inspired by the fruits of the sea, check out our Fish and Shellfish recipes.
Mussels infused with Garlic and Wine
- Large heavy based shallow pan with a lid
- 2 kg mussels – cleaned and de-bearded
- bunch spring onions chopped diagonally (onion is also fine) use as much of the green as possible
- 3 stalks finely chopped celery including leaves use from the centre of the celery where the stalks and leaves are tender
- bunch roughly chopped parsley and coriander coriander optional
- 3 cloves grated garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 banana chilli or tsp chilli flakes optional
- 250 ml white wine
- 100 ml cream or full fat yoghurt optional
- small bunch chives or parsely to garnish
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil and butter
- Gently saute the onions, celery and banana chilli (if using) in a generous knob of butter and a dash of olive oil for two minutes.
- Add the mussels and toss in the onion mixture for a couple of minutes. As soon as the mussels open, add the wine, parsley, garlic and a good grinding of black pepper. Add more wine if it does not easily cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the mussels are open. Shake them a couple of times to ensure they are all covered by the sauce.
- Remove from the heat, add the cream to your liking (if using) and sprinkle with chives and parsley.
- Serve immediately in the cooking pot and let everyone dive in. Serve with plenty of fresh bread, pomme frites or creamy potato.