Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mussels with Artichokes and Capers

This has been the weekend of North Carolina seafood. Last night we devoured a mountain of briny clams. Tonight, mussels.

We have a good-bad habit of almost always cooking mussels the same way -- the Mario way, with tomatoes and sweet red vermouth. Which is great. But tonight I decided to punch it up a little with some pantry staples. The dish went from the refrigerator to the table in under 15 minutes, but the good flavors linger longer.

1 cup red onion. diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. capers, drained
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup sweet red vermouth
2-3 lbs. fresh North Carolina mussels, scrubbed
salt and pepper

Sautee onion in olive oil 2 minutes, add garlic and continue until tender. Add artichokes and capers, stir to coat. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Add vermouth and boil 1 minute.

Add mussels and cover. Shake pan occasionally until mussels open, about 4 minutes. Scoop out mussels and vegetables; transfer to serving bowl. Boil remaining stock to reduce, adding salt and pepper as needed. Pour over mussels and serve.

Excellent over sauteed greens with crusty bread. If greens are not your thing, consider pasta or polenta.

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