Be prepared to wine-and-dine with this Italian favorite, muscles simmered in white wine broth. Mussels are a low-fat source of protein and provide selenium, a mineral necessary for the detoxification of heavy metals, and vitamin A, which is essential for immune function. Mussels are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Stick with commercial sources as mussels may collect poisonous algae that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Commercial sources of mussels are well-monitored to avoid infiltration of poisonous algae, so always buy from a trusted fish-house.
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
2 tablespoons butter (For a dairy-free option, try Earth Balance.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 chopped scallions
2 cups dry white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley
2 slices bread, grilled
1. In a deep pot, heat butter until melted and add garlic and scallions; sauté for 2-3 minutes until garlic is tender. Add wine, lemon, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
2. Add mussels, cover, and lower heat to maintain a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, then stir and quickly replace lid. After 1 more minute, add parsley, cover, and cook for an addition 2-3 minutes, until all (or most) of mussels have opened.
3. Remove covered pot from heat. Serve immediately including both mussels and broth in the bowl,removing and discarding any mussels that have not opened.
Serve with grilled bread and a tossed green salad with oil and vinegar dressing.