Fresh mussels have their own distinctive flavour and they don't need much added to them to bring out their natural taste. Mussels and cockles are great for making starter recipes. Mussels steamed are great, as are mussels cooked in other ways.
In this recipe, vinegar, lemon, oil and basil are used to add flavour and the natural mussel recipe taste shines through. This dish is best chilled overnight so allow plenty of time to do that. The onions, vinegar, tomato and more used in this recipe for Catalan mussels is a classic combination and if you want to make starter recipes with mussels this is a very good recipe to opt for.
Mussels in tomato sauce are so good and everyone is sure to love this dish. As you probably know, Catalonia is a region in northeast Spain and seafood is very popular there. Perhaps you have tried a similar dish before, although many people are only familiar with mussels that have been steamed in broth/white wine, so this is a novel way of enjoying them.
1 kg (2 lbs) mussels
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
250g (½ lb) ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
100ml (2/5 cup) extra virgin olive oil
Handful fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Wash and de-beard the mussels. Put them in a covered pot over a high heat for a couple of minutes until they open. Remove and strain. Take the mussels out of their shells, discarding any that haven't opened. Place them in a serving bowl.
Add the cherry tomato halves, onion slices and basil. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar and pour over the mussels. Season and mix well. Cover the dish and chill overnight or for at least 2 hours. Serve with salad and flatbread.
Mussels are wonderful seafood and their flavour is very much-loved all over the world. Although steaming the mussels and serving them in their opened shells is perhaps the most common way of presenting these tasty little shellfish, using them in a salad is another nice idea. The basil, vinegar and lemon adds lots of flavour to the dish and there are not too many ingredients because you don't want to overpower that marvellous seafood taste. This makes a nice starter recipe before a meat main course, so you can enjoy the contrast and not let the starters be too filling.
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