Mussels with White Wine, Shallots, and Tomatoes
Serves 2 as a main course
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup tomatoes, concassé (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley, divided
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
2 pounds fresh mussels, shells scrubbed and beards removed (see note)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Serve with: Crusty French bread
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots to the butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots are soft about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the white wine, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons parsley and thyme to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the mussels and cover the pot. Steam the mussels for 3-6 minutes, shaking the pot gently every 2 to 3 minutes until the shells have opened. Use tongs to transfer the opened mussels to a large bowl. Any mussels that do not open should be discarded.
Pour the broth over the mussels and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve the mussels immediately in their broth with plenty of bread to sop up the juices.
When buying fresh mussels, look for mussels that are either tightly closed or that close when you gently tap their shell. Discard mussels with chipped or damaged shells. Fresh mussels should be kept in an opened container (to allow them to breathe) on ice for no more than a day or two in the refrigerator.
The shells of mussels should be scrubbed thoroughly and any barnacles should be removed with a small knife or your fingernail. If necessary, remove the beard (a threadlike piece that is often found around the edge of the mussels’ shell). Remove the beard by grabbing it with your fingers and pulling it towards the hinged part of the shell until it comes off. Discard the beard.