Mussel Up: Summertime Is Almost Here!

…Did someone say “swimsuit season”?  I JUST DID. Time to “mussle up” with more seafood and veggies, and I’ve got just the recipe for you to try.  Click to skip to the recipe

Secret Squash Jorj Morgan Filming

You can tell Summertime is right around the corner. Swimsuit ads keep popping up on my Facebook feed.

Yikes!!

Not only is there the spring panic of bathing suit weather arriving shortly, but add in a year’s worth of a stay-at-home pandemic and where are those dumbbells? Under the bed??

When I feel the need to rein things in a bit, my go-to is seafood. I eat shrimp for lunch and salmon for supper. And it usually works, until I get bored. 

While in this pattern, I came across an old fave that I haven’t had in a while. I saw fresh mussels at the local store and thought I’d give them a try.

The (lady) fishmonger was so sweet. She picked the closed shells from the bin, one by one, to the dismay of the growing line behind me. But I was left with a whole bunch of perfect mussels.

Earlier in the week my pal, Lauren, had gifted me with a Misfits box that contained a ridiculous number of veggies, so I had lots of THINGS to work with.

Misfits take the not-so-pretty produce that farmers grow and that retail grocers won’t purchase because they don’t look perfect and recycles them to people like me. People who don’t care if the tomato has a blemish as long as it tastes sweet. 

I chose the red onion and garlic in the box to start and then my eyes landed on the garlic. Yes!

There were also a bunch of kale leaves both dinosaur and curly. A bit of wine and a dash of stock and yum oh yum did I have a dish to remember. 

Bathing suit beware…. I’m coming for ya!

Mussels in Ginger-Garlic Broth
With Crusty Bread

Serves: 4 as an appy and 2 for a meal

Time: 30 minutes ‘til it’s ready

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil

½ red onion, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons

2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons

½ cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 to 4 kale leaves, stemmed and finely chopped, about 1 cup

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 pound mussels

For bread:

Several thick slices crusty bread

Olive oil

Garlic powder

Parmesan cheese

Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra

In a deep pot or wok with lid, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer to reduce, about 3 minutes more. Add the stock. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the kale. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the pot with the lid and simmer until the kale is soft, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to the broil setting. Place slices of bread onto a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle it with garlic powder and top with Parmesan cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and watch closely. Cook until the bread is golden, and the cheese is melty, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Place the mussels into the broth. Cover with the lid and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Serve the mussels in a bowl with lots of broth and a couple of slices of toasted bread for dipping.