Pin It A few days after I posted the Moules Mariniere, I thought about another of my favorite ways to cook them and just had to sneak this in.
There is nothing in the world like mussels with fennel and Pernod and in Provence they have a wonderful recipe that also includes tomatoes and leeks. I thought I would share it with you since mussels are such an inexpensive summer and winter lunch. Don't forget a nice crusty bread and a chilled white wine. Try a Sancerre this time... a Riesling would be nice too!
If you want the complete Provencal experience, finish with the Figs in Rosemary Honey for dessert!
4 1/2 pounds [2 kg] fresh mussels, in shells
2 leeks [white only]
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon [15 mL] fennel seeds
2 tablespoons [30 mL] olive oil
1/2 cup [125 mL] dry white wine
2 tablespoons [30 mL] Pastis or Pernod
28 ounces [796 mL] diced tomatoes
2 fresh parsley sprigs or 1 pinch dried parsley
2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 pinch dried thyme
Salt and pepper
Well scrub mussel shells under cold, running water; reserve [do not soak shells in water].
Chop onion, leeks, fennel or celery stalks, garlic and fennel seeds.
Into a large casserole, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion mixture for approximately 5 minutes, until leeks are soft.
Do not brown vegetables.
Mix in dry white wine, Pastis and tomatoes.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix in mussels, parsley and thyme.
Cover; cook over high heat, until shells open-up, approximately 5 minutes.
Throw away unopened shells.
Using a slotted spoon, remove mussel shells from casserole.
Remove mussels from shells; arrange mussels onto individual plates, or into shell halves, as you would oysters.
If using fresh parsley and thyme, remove sprigs from sauce.
Cook sauce, over high heat, for 5 minutes.
Pour sauce over mussels and serve immediately.