I cooked a quick lunch of these mussels in red wine sauce last week for myself and the kids. My 5-year-old was skeptical (she's unfortunately reached the age of being suspicious of new foods, and especially anything too "chewy"), but I prepped her ahead of time not to make a big deal about it since her little brother will follow whatever he sees her do. Her 2-year old brother and I loved this dish. My son ate 8 mussels on his own!
I must admit that we enjoyed this with a few pieces of toasted, buttered crusty sourdough bread (which we buy from a local bakery once every few months as a treat). The juices are just so good to sop up with the toast. But this dish would also be great without the bread, just eaten as a soup.
This recipe was based on one from Gorging Gorge, but I did make a few changes to the recipe.
Mussels in Red Wine Sauce
- 3 Tb butter, preferably from grassfed cows
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 very large ripe tomato, or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or substitute canned tomatoes in the winter)
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup dry red wine, such as chianti (or substitute vermouth)
- 1 pound precooked mussels (frozen or partially thawed are fine)*
- 1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves
- Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt. Saute for about 10 minutes, until it is nicely translucent.
- Add the chopped tomato and garlic to the pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the tomato starts to break down.
- Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the wine cook down for a few minutes.
- Add the mussels. Since they are pre-cooked, you only need to cook them for a few minutes to fully warm them. I nestled them down into the sauce and cooked them for about 3 minutes.
- Add the fresh basil, stir it in, and turn off the heat. Put a lid on the pot to let the basil wilt for about 2-3 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and enjoy! Don't forget to discard any mussels that are not opened up.