Posted on 06 May 2010 by

Recipe: Steamed Mussels with Roasted Tomatoes, White Wine and Basil

mussels-tomatoBy David Harbilas

Steamed mussels are as basic as it gets: put them in a pot with some white wine, garlic and butter and cook until they open.

Sometimes it’s good to add a little something extra, and most often on restaurant menus that means tomatoes.

Diced, raw tomatoes add acidity, but roasted tomatoes give a slow-cooked flavor to something that requires little assembly after the initial preparation.

Serves 4

  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • About 1 tablespoon sugar
  • About 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

To roast the tomatoes, preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Slice each tomato lengthwise and lay open end up on a sheet pan. Drizzle each half with olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper, and thyme leaves. Roast for 3-4 hours, or until shriveled slightly. Make sure skins are not black, as they’ll turn bitter. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Chop tomatoes in large dice and set aside.

Place a saucepan large enough to hold the mussels in a single layer over medium-high heat and add about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Saute the garlic until soft, about 45 seconds to 1 minute, then add the mussels, white wine, roasted tomatoes, and butter and cover the pan.

Covering the pan is an important step, as it allows the mussels to steam and cook evenly. Also, the juices that the mussels release will accumulate in the sauce without evaporating. Cook until the mussels open, then remove the lid and add the chopped basil. Serve hot, with crusty bread.

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