These juicy mussels are very easy to prepare. Fresh tomatoes, capers, lemon juice and lemon zest provide the backbone of this traditional dish from Campania. Lovely with crusty bread and also with fresh fettuccine noodles. A Whole Foods recipe.
Pick all mussels, tap all the opened ones and discard those that do not close up after tapping.
Arrange bread slices on a cookie sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, turn and drizzle on the other side with another 1 tablespoon of oil. Place in the oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
In a medium pot with a lid bring white wine, bay leaf and chicken broth to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic slices and let cook for another minute. Add all mussels at once to boiling pot, and follow with tomatoes, capers and olives. Season with some freshly ground pepper. Reduce heat to medium.
Put lid on pot, shake pot vigorously and let cook until mussels are done, no longer than 5 minutes, shaking pot halfway through and using a slotted spoon to mix mussels if needed, pouring juices from below on top of the mussels. Once almost all mussels have opened up, turn the heat off and sprinkle with the lemon juice and half of the chopped parsley. Mix well and taste liquid in bottom. Season with salt and pepper if needed bearing in mind that both the capers and olives will already have added plenty of salt to the dish. Discard all mussels whose shells did not open up.
Serve immediately in 4 large bowls, sprinkle the rest of the parsley on top and place a couple of toasted bread slices on the side to mop up all the liquid.
If desired, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the mussels. Finally, sprinkle each serving with lemon zest.