January 27, 2008

Mussels with Onions and Celery

4 lb mussels*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sweet vermouth

Heat the oil in a large, wide lidded pot. Add the onions, celery and garlic. Saute until fragrant. Check the mussels to make sure no shells are broken and all are closed. If a mussel is open, tap a few times on a hard surface. If they close, they are safe to eat. If they remain open, throw them out. Place the mussels in the pot. Pour the vermouth over the mussels. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally until the mussels open. Some mussels might open before others depending on where they are in the pan. Use a large spoon to scoop out the mussels as they open and place them in a serving bowl. Throw out any mussels that did not open. Serve immediately.

*Wild caught mussels are the tastiest. Ours were so fresh they actually had little bits of marine life attached to them.

My thoughts:

I just love mussels. Unfortunately, they are not always available locally, so when I see them, I snap them up. These mussels were so fresh and sweet smelling I didn't want to do too much with them. A quick steam with some aromatic vegetables is all they really needed. And it is all we pretty much needed for dinner as well, a couple of big bowls of mussels, a bowl for discarded shells and we were good to go.