As a serious seafood lover it probably isn’t hard to believe that I seriously love mussels..especially the big juicey kinds. Combine these with a tasty spicy tomato broth and some crusty ciabatta and I am in seventh heaven! Now that the nights are getting cooler, there is really nothing better than sitting down to a big steaming pot of fresh mussels in a hearty tomato broth and the one I dished up on Thursday night certainly did not disappoint!
Not only is this delicious but it is also very low in fat and mussels are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium (an antioxidant compound that fights free radicals in the blood stream) and iodine (which plays an essential role in the production of our thyroid hormones that essentially help control our metabolism.) Mussels are also good sources of protein, iron and vitamin B12 (a vitamin found predominantly in animal food sources that plays a role in the metabolism of every cell in our bodies and is essential for normal brain and nerve functioning.)
Ok so now that I have managed to convince you all that mussels will probably be featuring on your dinner tables tonight I suppose I should probably give you the recipe!
What you need…
1 kg punnet of fresh mussels
2 tins of crushed tomatoes
1 cup white wine
2 brown onions
2 button mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
handful of pitted kalamata olives
bunch of parsley
1 fresh red chilli or chilli flakes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
pinch of saffron
loaf of ciabatta/sourdough
What to do…
Turn on your oven to moderate heat (180degrees).
Finely dice the onion and chilli and slice up the garlic as finely as you can. Add the onion to a large saucepan/pot over medium heat with a good splash of olive oil. Saute until soft and cooked through then add your chilli, garlic and the other spices and cook for a further 1-2mins. Grate half the lemon and add the rind to the pot along with the mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, chopped olives and white wine, stir through and then allow to simmer on low heat for about 5-10minutes.
Place your bread on a tray and chuck it in the oven to crisp up for 5 or so minutes.
Add your mussels and the juice of half the lemon then cover with a lid for about 5mins or until all of the mussels have opened up nice and wide. (if any are still firmly shut discard them!)
Have a taste of your broth and if you think it could do with some more spice sprinkle over some chilli flakes and some chopped parsely.
Grab your bread out of the oven and you’re good to go!