Mussels a la Camargue

This is a mussel recipe where you’ll eat the broth before you get to the mussels. The fennel and tomato give it a great fresh flavor. Add a fresh crisp baguette and you’ll be set.

Ingredients

4.5 lbs Fresh mussels, in shells
1 Onion
2 Leeks (white only)
2 Fennel or celery stalks
2 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp Fennel seeds
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Dry white wine (Off-dry Riesling is good)
2 tbsp Pastis or Pernod or Arak
28 oz Diced tomatoes
1 Pinch dried parsley
1 Pinch dried Thyme
Fresh french bread

Preparation

  • Well scrub mussel shells under cold, running water; reserve [do not soak shells in water].
  • Chop onion, leeks, fennel or celery stalks, garlic and fennel seeds.
  • Into a large casserole, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion mixture for approximately 5 minutes, until leeks are soft.
  • Do not brown vegetables.
  • Mix in dry white wine, Pastis and tomatoes.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Mix in mussels, parsley and thyme.
  • Cover; cook over high heat, until shells open-up, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Throw away unopened shells.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove mussel shells from casserole.
  • Remove mussels from shells; arrange mussels onto individual plates, or into shell halves, as you would oysters.
  • If using fresh parsley and thyme, remove sprigs from sauce.
  • Cook sauce, over high heat, for 5 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over mussels and serve immediately.

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