Mussels in White Wine Sauce

A classic dish that’s quick to make, mussels steamed in white wine with a couple of aromatics is much more than the sum of its parts; the wine and mussel liquor combine to create a heady sauce. Make sure to have a loaf of good bread on hand to sop up every drop! carswell shares a recipe to serve 2: Scrub and beard 2 pounds mussels. Put in a big pot with 1 large onion and 1 small stalk celery, both finely minced, some fresh or dried thyme and 1 cup dry white wine. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam just until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley.

ali patts’s method is similar, but he begins by sauteing chopped onion and garlic in butter, then adds mussels and wine and steams and finishes as above.

Here’s a tip that JoanN says is definitely worth the extra effort: after the mussels have opened, remove them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and boil down the liquid in the pan until reduced by about a third. It helps concentrate the mussel juices in the sauce and makes for a far more flavorful one than you get without the reduction.

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