We are so lucky to have a local market that provides fresh mussels from the cold waters of New England. Yesterday, my husband was lamenting that he hasn’t had mussels in a while. He spent summers on PEI in Canada and was super spoiled by the abundance of fresh seafood available there.
A pound of mussels serves two. When choosing mussels, choose the ones with closed shells. If shells are open before cooking then it’s likely the mussel is dead or nearly so. I like to use them the same day I buy them. Before cooking, place the mussels in a bowl and run under cold water, lightly scrubbing the outside. Remove any fibrous growth, also known as the beard. Some markets clean this for you.
1 pound fresh mussels
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced pancetta
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
2 bay leaves
1 cup white wine
- Clean the mussels.
- Add the olive oil to a dutch oven large enough to hold all ingredients. The pan should have a lid since the mussels will be steamed.
- Saute the pancetta until brown.
- Add the shallots and garlic. Saute until transparent.
- Add the wine and bring to a simmer then add the mussels and the rest of the ingredients. Give them a good stir and cover the pot with the lid.
- Steam for about 5 minutes, gently shaking the pot as they go. Discard any mussels that do not open.
- Using a large serving spoon, ladle the mussels into a serving bowl, pour the juice over the top and garnish with some additional chopped parsley.
- Serve with baguettes to soak up the broth.