Entrees / Healthy Choices / Holiday Food / One-Pot Meals / Quick and Easy / Seafood / See Hatsie Cook / Sunday Dinners

Cook: Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Broth

Valentine’s day is upon us and if you’re like me, you’re planning a nice, special meal at home.  (Well, if you’re really like me you’re in the process of packing up your kitchen and are planning a nice special meal at home in a couple of weeks…)
I’ve never been one for reservations; I’d rather a nice dinner out on a night when the rest of the world doesn’t have the same idea.  For me, this means that a special Valentine’s dinner in must be really special–something I don’t make often, or ever.  Something reminiscent of a restaurant meal, but instead of white tablecloths, there’s our favorite movie, a nice bottle of wine, and a big black cat lurking somewhere close by.
Mussels are one of my favorite things to order out.  They’re intensely flavorful and light and most always come with a huge hunk of crusty bread to sop up all that broth.  I love the garlic and wine flavor of the broth, the vibrant color of the mussels against their black shells, and the feeling of eating with my hands.
I had been itching to try mussels at home–Ina Garten makes it look so easy.  Recently I was killing time at Costco while my blown-out car tire was being fixed and I noticed they had a fish market set up.  They had 3 pounds of mussels on sale for like, $12.00.  That’s insane.  I couldn’t pass it up, called K and asked if he even liked mussels (he does) and brought them home with me.  The meal was incredible.

Yum.  Marvel at how incredibly good that smells.  Seriously, wine/garlic/onions/seafood?  Match made in heaven.

Serve these in large, shallow bowls by adding mussels to the bowl then spooning plenty of that flavorful broth on top.

A generous hunk of crusty bread and some lemon wedges on the side are absolutely necessary.  That broth cannot be wasted!

This can be served as a main course with bread, or cut the serving size in half and serve as an elegant appetizer before a more substantial entree.  Something like, the most perfect steak ever?  These mussels, a crisp side salad with a bright vinaigrette, steak, and something chocolate for dessert sounds like my perfect meal.

If you want to stay in and save the night out for another weekend, this is the way.  If you forgot to make reservations, this will save you.  It’s a wonderful dinner that is pretty, elegant, and light.

Whether it’s Valentine’s breakfast or Valentine’s dinner (or both!) I’ve got you covered!

Here’s the recipe.

Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Broth (Adapted from Ina Garten)


  • 3 pounds mussels
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced finely
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces of whole tomatoes in their juice (about 1/2 a 28-ounce can.  If you can find whole cherry tomatoes, use those.  If not, crush the whole tomatoes with your hands as you add them).
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons course salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Clean and sort your mussels.  Place all mussels in a large bowl and fill with water–enough to cover.  Add flour to the water and stir.  Let mussels sit for about 20 minutes.  They’ll drink the water and the flour will help rid them of any sand inside their shells.  Drain the mussels then sort them.  Any mussels that aren’t tightly closed, or don’t close after a firm tap on their shells, discard.  Remove the beards if present, and if the shells aren’t clean, scrub with a brush under running water.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil and a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more, until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, thyme, white wine, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Add mussels to the pot and quickly give them a stir.  Cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid and let the mussels steam for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Once mussels are open, serve immediately in large, shallow bowls with broth spooned on top.  Crusty bread and some lemon slices are perfect on the side.

2 thoughts on “Cook: Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Broth

  1. Pingback: List: My 8 Favorite Recipes of 2014 | See Hatsie

  2. Pingback: List: 5 Years of Valentine’s Meals at Home | See Hatsie

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