I’ve always had an affinity for mussels, and they are relatively quick and easy to make. Seafood (including mollusks) and eggs are primary sources of protein for me, and I have mussels about twice a month.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have fairly easy access to Penn Cove mussels. Mussels are in peak season from October to March, but you can purchase live or frozen mussels year round, online or from a seafood market. Mussels are a great source of protein and vitamins (especially C, iron, and B-12).
I’m a bit spoiled these days since my office is a 10 minute walk to and from Pike Place Market, so I can pick up fresh seafood from the market before heading home and have it for dinner that evening.
For this recipe, I make the cauliflower rice first, and while it’s roasting I prepare the mussels. You can keep the mussels warm and steamy in the pot, covered until the rice is ready and then serve together. And I recommend pouring some broth over the mussels and rice.
Garlic & Herb Mussels
Sometimes I short cut the process of chopping onions and herbs, and instead use pesto for the mussels as well as for the cauliflower rice. Optionally, you can pour a 1/4 cup of white wine in the pot once the mussels are simmering. This recipe serves 2 as a meal. I usually cook 1 pound of mussels per person, so double this recipe if you’re cooking for 4 people.
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion or shallots
- 1/2 cup minced fresh herbs (a mixture of thyme, basil, oregano, or other herbs)
- 1 to 2 cups of water, or enough water to cover the mussels halfway in the stock pot.
- 2 pounds mussels
- Preheat a large stock pot on a medium heat.
- Add the garlic, butter, and onions, and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add the herbs, water, and mussels and bring the water to a steady low boil.
- Cover the pot and turn the heat down a bit and cook for about 10 minutes or until the mussels open up. If there are a few stubborn mussels that won’t open up, discard them.
- Serve with broth over the pesto cauliflower rice.
Pesto Cauliflower Rice
- 1 large cauliflower head, diced into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon high heat oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC, or gas mark 6).
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the cauliflower, oil, and salt in a bowl until the cauliflower is well coated.
- Spread the cauliflower across the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
- Cool the cauliflower for 5 minutes and then gently pulse a few times in a food processor, or until it has the texture of large pieces of rice. Don’t over pulse it or it will become mushy.
- Blend in the pesto and serve.
Serves 2 as a meal