mussels, lovage, chili, wine, tomato, shallot; red fife bread

I hadn’t expected to make it to either of my Greenmarket choices on Saturday, but when our plans changed, and I realized I’d be able to cook dinner that night, I rushed down the block to one of my favorite fishmongers.

When I saw the mussels, I couldn’t see anything else in the case.

  • a little more than two pounds of wild mussels (and I was told they had not grown on ropes, or the equivalent), purchased from American Seafood Company early that afternoon in the 23rd Street Market at Saturday’s Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market, one block away from us, scrubbed and de-bearded where necessary, combined in a large heavy enameled pot (a larger round Le Creuset Doufeu ‘dutch oven’ I’ve had for almost 50 years) with over two cups of halved red cherry tomatoes (one pint basket) from Alex’s Tomato Farm, a little more than half a cup of a good white wine, Miriam Alexandra California Chenin Blanc 2018, a few tablespoons of a chopped ‘camelot’ Dutch red shallot from Quarton Farm, 4 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Butter, about a quarter of a teaspoon of crushed Calabresi peperoncino secchia from Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market, a generous amount of freshly-ground black pepper, and a few tablespoons of some coarsely-chopped lovage from Quarton Farm, the pot then covered and its contents simply steamed over high heat for a few minutes, arranged in shallow bowls, along with the wonderful pot liquor, and sprinkled with a little more lovage
  • one red fife baguette(Red Fife whole wheat flour, starter, and salt) from Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse
  • the wine was a French (Loire) rosé, Patrice Grasset Loire Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018, from Naked Wines
  • the music was an extremely early opera (1608) by Marco Da Gagliano, ‘La Dafne’, from the Ensemble Vocale Dello Studio Di Music Antica Antonio Il Verso