Most of the prep for this meal is involved in cleaning the mussels, but it’s worth every minute. It’s a terrific, sophisticated combination of flavors. I may be a sucker for anything lovage, but I may not be the only one tempted to forget every other formula for steaming mussels. The simple recipe created by Jerry Traunfeld, was described by Sarah Dickerman in the New York Times in 2006.
- two pounds of scrubbed mussels purchased from Pura Vida in the Union Square Greenmarket, combined in a large heavy enameled pot with two cups of a variety of halved heirloom cherry tomatoes from Berried Treasures, half a cup of good white wine, a few tablespoons of chopped shallot from Eataly, three tablespoons of butter, a good amount of freshly-ground black pepper, and some coarsely-chopped lovage, also from Berried Treasures, everything steamed over high heat for a few minutes, then served with thick slices of Trucio from Sullivan Street Bakery (a superb rustic sourdough country bread with a dark crust)
- the wine was a Loire, a perfect compliment to the mussels, Domaine de La Fruitière Vignes Blanches 2012