A pot of seafood and this Maine native is happy. We cooked up our first mussels of the season in a flavorful white wine broth with thyme, fennel, leek and carrot. Hunks of baguette helped us sop up every last drop. And while this is not by any means the healthiest recipe (hello, wine & butter), mussels, like other bi-valves, are among the best sources of Vitamin B-12 (good for a healthy nervous system), selenium (good for the immune system and thyroid gland), and manganese (good for bone health and energy metabolism), and also provide a heart-healthy dose of Omega-3s. I have the feeling we’ll be cooking up a lot more of these this season.
Mussels in White Wine with Thyme, Fennel, Leek & Carrot
- 1 kg (about 2 lbs) fresh mussels, soaked and scrubbed clean
- 1 1/2 cups white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup chopped fennel
- 1 leek, white and light green parts chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped, plus all the leaves and small branches from the bunch, chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup butter, plus more for sauteing veggies
- Optional: Chopped parsley to taste
Directions: Soak the mussels in cold water for 20 minutes and then scrub them well under running water. Pull out any beards sticking out of the shells (farmed mussels will have fewer of these); discard any broken mussels. In a large pot on low heat, melt a bit of the butter and saute the fennel and leek; add the carrots and celery after a few minutes and then the garlic and thyme after another few minutes and continue to cook until softened. Add the wine and water and bring to a simmer; add the mussels and cook 4-6 minutes, until they open. Discard any that do not open. Add the remaining butter, and sprinkle fresh parsley if using. Spoon into bowls and serve with hunks of baguette; set a bowl for shells at the table and enjoy!
As dinner, serves 2, or as an appetizer, serves 4.