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Mussels with Fresh-Stewed Tomatoes and Basil

July 24, 2012

This recipe really highlights the tomatoes. Make this in high summer, when you’ve got an excess of fresh, tasty tomatoes you want to make use of.

Mussels with Fresh-Stewed Tomatoes and Basil

about 2-1/2 lbs mussels
about 1 lb assorted tomatoes, chopped into bite-size chunks
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white wine, divided
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1. Combine the tomatoes, vinegar, 2 tbsp white wine, 2 tbsp olive oil, basil and oregano in a large bowl. Allow the tomatoes to steep in the liquid for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Rinse and scrub the mussels, as needed. Trim any beards. If there are mussels that won’t close, tap them on the counter, rinse them under cold water, try submerging them if necessary. If they still won’t close throw them out.

3. Warm the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute longer. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1/4 cup white wine and the mussels. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mussels have all opened, the meat is plump and firm and easily pulls off the shell, about eight minutes.

4. Drain the liquid from the mussels. Divide into bowls, including the celery and garlic. Top with a few tablespoons of the stewed tomatoes with the liquid. Serve with a fresh baguette.

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