Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
Mark Bittman; The Best Recipes in the World; Italian Style
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
- 1 cup cored chopped tomato (optional)
- 4 lbs mussels, cleaned and debearded
- freshly fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Add oil to a saucepan big enough to hold all the mussels; turn heat to medium.
- A minute later, add in the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomato, and increase heat a bit; cook for 5 minutes more, until the tomato begins to break up.
- Add the mussels; increase heat to high, and cover the pot.
- Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until they all open, about 10 minutes; turn the heat off.
- Scoop the mussels into a serving bowl; strain the accumulated liquid through a fine strainer—preferably one lined with cheesecloth—and pour it over the mussels.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
- *Steamed Mussels, French Style—substitute butter for the oil and use 2 or 3 chopped shallots in place of the onion; the garlic is optional; omit the tomato and lemon; proceed as directed, adding ½ cup white wine to the pot just before adding the mussels; if you like, you can finish the sauce with ½ cup heavy cream.
- *Steamed Mussels, East Asian Style—substitute peanut or canola oil for the olive oil and ¼ cup chopped scallion for the onions; add 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger along with the garlic and proceed as directed, omitting the tomato and lemon; add 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the liquid after cooking and serve with lime wedges.
- *Steamed Mussels, Thai Style—omit the oil, onion, tomato, lemon, and parsley; combine the mussels in a pot with the garlic, 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised with the back of a knife and roughly chopped, ½ cup roughly chopped fresh Thai basil leaves, 1 small fresh or dried chile, the juice of 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon nam pla; steam as in step 2, then strain as in step 3; garnish mussels with more Thai basil and a squeeze of fresh lime.