Monday, January 5, 2015

Spicy Mussels

To celebrate my graduation from nursing school last August, my mama took me to Charleston for a Girlie Get-Away.  One evening, we enjoyed refreshing cocktails and a bowl of mussels at the rooftop bar of our hotel.  It was my first experience with mussels and I'm so glad I was adventurous enough to try them!  A few months later, when my best friend came to visit, I thought it would be fun to serve mussels for dinner one night.  My BFF's family has a summer home in Maine, and they frequently gather fresh mussels right off the beach for a tasty meal, so I was glad to have her help selecting my mussels at the grocery.  Mussels are an inexpensive, healthy, and elegant main course sure to treat guests at your next dinner party!  As long as your friends don't have shell-fish allergies, serve up something different and try this recipe!

2-4 tablespoons olive oil 
1 small purple onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh basil roughly torn/chopped 
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
¼ cup water
1 can diced tomatoes with juices
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

Clean the mussels under cool water with a soft vegetable brush.  Pull off the "beard" (the long stringy/weedy part attached to some shells).  Discard any mussels with broken shells or any that don't close after you tap them gently.  Mussels must be cooked while alive to prevent contamination that causes illness!

Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add basil, red pepper flakes, wine, water, and tomatoes. 

Bring everything to a boil, cook for 1 minute. Add mussels, give them a big stir, pop on the lid, lower the heat to medium, and cook about 10 minutes, until the mussels are open.  This time, discard any mussels with tightly closed shells.

Serve hot, with lots of bread to soak up the yummy sauce!


  1. wow...I love muscles but never made them...may have to try this!

  2. My husband would love this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  3. Hi Kate,
    My husband would just love this dish, Mussels are some of his favorites. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Yum! I have only made mussels a couple of times, but they were very well received both times. I really should do it again. I love your spicy take on them, we will have to try that next time!