These steamed mussels are perfect for a hot evening, since the entire process requires less than 5 minutes above a flame. I found the recipe in the New York Times, where it was described as adapted by Sara Dickerman from “The Herbal Kitchen,” by Jerry Traunfeld.
There are also few ingredients, with little preparation needed (what there is to do is very easy and can be done leisurely), and everything goes into the pot at once.
It’s also a just plain perfect meal, especially if the ingredients are really, really good, as they all were here.
[oddly, while the image above doesn’t show it, but there was plenty of luscious broth, which is pretty much what this dish is all about]
- two pounds of mostly-small Long Island mussels purchased that day in the Union Square Greenmarket from Pura Vida Fisheries, lightly-scrubbed and de-bearded where necessary, then combined in a large heavy enameled cast iron pot with two cups of Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, halved, half of a cup of good white wine (a good Vinho Verde), a few tablespoons of chopped fresh shallot from Lani’s Farm, 3 tablespoons of rich ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘, a generous amount of freshly-ground Telicherry pepper, and 2 or 3 tablespoons of coarsely-chopped lovage from Campo Rosso Farm, everything steamed over high heat for a very few minutes, served in shallow bowls with a sprinkling of more chopped lovage and accompanied by an Eric Kayser ‘baguette monge’
- the wine was a French (Loire) white, Jean Pascal Aubron Folle Blanche Gros Plant Du Pays Nantais 2014 (more here on the wine and the vigneron)
- the music was Pietro Locatelli, Concerti Grossi, the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Hartmut Haenchen, via Spotify