White Wine Steamed Mussels with Zucchini, Arugula and Basil

White Wine Steamed Mussels with Zucchini, Arugula and Basil

White Wine Steamed Mussels with Zucchini, Arugula and Basil

How to Cook Mussels

One of my fondest vacation food memories stems from a trip to Monaco, a luxurious little city–state perched between the Alps and Mediterranean Sea, bound by France—the last leg of our tour. My (at the time) 15-month-old baby, husband and I braved it there a few summers ago and it’s a trip I’ll never forget. Like all of my vacations, most activities revolved around food. There was no shortage of plump mussels, aromatic with fresh sea air, served with pommes frites and mayonnaise. And the house Sancerre wine, of course.

Cooking mussels at home need not be difficult. The most important thing is to buy the freshest ones you can find from a trusted source. I’ve had luck with the big box retailers on weekends when they bag the mussels from huge beds of ice, or at markets with expansive selections of fresh seafood. Buy them on the same day you plan to cook them, since the mussels should still be living. As soon as you get them home, bury them unwrapped directly in ice. They will suffocate in plastic. And don’t overcook them.

Most mussels available in the U.S. are farmed sustainably, and provide a respectable amount of vital omega-3 fatty acids, along with other beneficial nutrients. This recipe is a new rendition I created which boasts more vegetables than classic versions, serving as a meal in itself or as a hearty starter course.

Steamed Mussels with Arugula, Zucchini and Basil with Baguette Toasts

2 pounds (907 g) fresh mussels

2 teaspoons (10 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium (120 g) shallots, thinly sliced

1 medium (240 g) zucchini (about 2 cups), diced 1/2 inch

1 tablespoon (10 g) minced garlic

1 pinch red chili pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt (1/8 teaspoon for vegetables, 1/8 teaspoon for mussels)

2 medium (270 g) tomatoes, diced 1/2 inch (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup (170 g) reduced-sodium or organic chicken broth

1/2 cup (170 g) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

3 thyme sprigs

3 cups (90 g) baby arugula (or baby spinach)

10 basil leaves, stacked, rolled and thinly sliced (chiffonade)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Crusty artisan-style bread (preferably whole-grain), sliced thick, topped with olive oil, salt and pepper and broiled on high 6 inches below the heating element for 2 minutes

 

Discard any mussels with broken or cracked shells or that remain gaping open after you try to nudge them shut. Pull off and discard the “beards”, a mossy-looking string hanging from most mussels. Rinse them under cold running water.

Heat a large skillet or pot on medium and add oil. Add shallots, zucchini, garlic and chili and cook until shallots become tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth and briskly simmer on medium high until the liquid reduces by half, about 8 minutes. Add mussels, wine and thyme; stir and cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap (Note: For safety, remove pan from heat while covering with plastic.) Cook until mussels open wide, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully uncover, being mindful of hot steam, and stir in arugula, basil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Spoon the finished dish along with an ample amount of broth into bowls and serve with warm bread.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Makes 4 servings (mussels, vegetables and broth)

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 424 calories, 14 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 860 mg sodium, 84 mg cholesterol, 18 g total carbohydrate (2 g fiber), 38 g protein, 61% DV iron, 10% DV calcium, 270% DV Vitamin A, 76% DV Vitamin C.

 

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White Wine Steamed Mussels with Zucchini, Arugula and Basil

White Wine Steamed Mussels with Zucchini, Arugula and Basil

By Michelle Dudash, Chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Published: September 27, 2012

  • Yield: servings (4 Servings)
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Ready In: 55 mins

Delicious seafood dish with white wine steamed mussels with zucchini, arugula and basil.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Discard any mussels with broken or cracked shells or that remain gaping open after you try to nudge them shut. Pull off and discard the “beards”, a mossy-looking string hanging from most mussels. Rinse them under cold running water.
  2. Heat a large skillet or pot on medium and add oil. Add shallots, zucchini, garlic and chile and cook until shallots become tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth and briskly simmer on medium high until the liquid reduces by half, about 8 minutes. Add mussels, wine and thyme; stir and cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap (Note: For safety, remove pan from heat while covering with plastic.) Cook until mussels open wide, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully uncover, being mindful of hot steam, and stir in arugula, basil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the finished dish along with an ample amount of broth into bowls and serve with warm bread.

3 Comments

  1. Suzanne says:

    I had mussels for the first time ever while visiting a friend this summer. They were “garlicky” and yummy! I might be still a little nervous to cook them myself but thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Suzanne,

      You can do it, I have faith in you! Just buy them fresh, cook until they open, and you will be fine.

      Good luck!
      Michelle

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