Greek-Style Steamed Mussels

What You'll Need:

2-tbsp. EVOO
2 tbsp minced garlic
4-oz. chopped kalamata olives
8-oz. chopped roasted red peppers*
6-oz. chopped artichoke hearts*
1-lb. mussels, cleaned - scrubbed and debearded
4-oz. chunky tomato sauce#
4 tbsp. butter
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

*Reserve the oils from both the jar of roasted red peppers and the jar of artichokes
#This is optional - after I photographed it, I chose not to use it, but if you want to, go for it!

Start by heating the 2 tbsp. of EVOO over medium-high heat and adding the garlic to a saute pan.  To that, add the reserved oils from the peppers and the artichokes and let it simmer together for about 3-4 minutes. (The oil from the artichokes will only be good if you used good-quality, jarred artichokes, and not artichokes from a can. If in a can, the artichokes will be packed in water, not oil, and you won't need that, because it's obviously not contributing any flavors.)  After those flavors build, add the chopped olives, peppers, and artichokes to the pan and saute for about 8-10 minutes, or until the ingredients have been softened.

Add the mussels to the pan, along with 1/2-cup of the white wine, and 3 tablespoons of the butter.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all of the mussels have opened up.  Discard any mussels that do not open on their own.

Transfer all the mussels from the pan to a large bowl.  Add the last 1/2-cup of white wine to the pan, along with the last tablespoon of butter.  Stir through for about 4-5 minutes.  Finally, pour the ingredients from the pan plus the juices over top of the mussels.  Sprinkle finely chopped parsley down over the bowl, and enjoy!  :)

**With the GORGEOUS March weather upon us, I thought I would offer an alternate cooking method that would be very outdoor grilling-friendly!

You'll need a very large piece of aluminum foil.  Gather all of your ingredients together on the foil.  You will want to leave out the reserved juices from the jars and the tomato sauce... you don't want it to have too much liquid.  Drizzle the olive oil on the aluminum foil, and use your olives, artichokes, and peppers to make a bed for the mussels.  Situate the mussels atop the chopped ingredients and pour the white wine on top (maybe only use 1/2-cup instead of the whole cup).  Top the mussels with 2 tbsp. of butter and close your aluminum foil all the way around, making a "sack".  Put the "sack" on your grill, on a medium heat -- towards the back.  Grill until mussels open on their own -- about 7 minutes.  Transfer the mussels to a bowl, add the last bit of butter and let it melt on top.  Sprinkle with parsley and viola!


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