I am fairly sure that when I was trying to figure out how many mussels to buy and saw that 4 ounces of mussels was the per person portion, one would have to assume that is an appetizer size. So for two people 8 ounces each perhaps would be an entree portion. Well I have a little over a pound and served with a crusty, garlic rubbed crostini this will make a delightful meal. Perhaps on the side will be a little caprese salad. After all I do have cherry tomatoes, fresh basil from the garden and a hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese.
When I was ready I had it in mind that because it's shellfish that mussels would be expensive. They actually were not. For quite a while I was getting mussels for $2.99 per pound and the last time I purchased them they rose to $3.99 per pound. Probably due to the rise in demand because mussels were an inexpensive choice for a protein, they are now $5.99 per pound! This puts them in the category (for me at least), a shellfish to make for "special" occasions.
One and a quarter pound was enough though for just my husband and myself along with the salad and the toasted bread. So if you see mussels on sale for $3.99 I would definitely grab some and try this recipe! It's so delicious. The mussels themselves are sweet treats from the sea. A combination of sweet and briny and just scrumptious. AND, I love the way they look - elegant looking like a tiny creature dressed in an over-sized tuxedo!
For those of you who might be timid to use raw eggs in the aioli, substitute with 1/4 cup of something like egg beaters.
For the Aioli:
- 3-4 large egg yolks or 1/4 cup egg beaters
- 1 1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- large pinch of saffron
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 8 oz. olive oil (extra virgin or regular)
- Place the first five ingredients in a blender and whiz until aerated.
- Keep the blender on a medium speed and slowly pour the olive oil in until emulsified.
- Store in a container in the refrigerator covered until ready to use.
For the Mussels:
- 1 + pound mussels
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp. garlic - minced
- 2 tbsp. shallots - minced (use a sweet onion as a substitute)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. butter
- salt and black pepper to taste (use ground black pepper if you can)
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley - minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil - minced
- rustic bread toasted or grilled and rubbed with a clove of garlic
- In a saute pan over medium heat melt one tablespoon of butter with the olive oil.
- Add the shallots and garlic and turn heat down to medium low. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes without adding any color.
- Add in the mussels and the wine. Cover and cook over medium heat until the mussels open. If they do not open, toss them. This takes about 6-8 minutes.
- Place the mussels in a bowl and drizzle with the ailoi and distribute the broth equally in the bowls.
- Serve with the garlic rubbed crostini and enjoy.