Steamed Mussels with Saffron, Leeks, and Tomato
Field Guide to Herbs & Spices
These bold and basic flavors are perfect as a first course with pasta.
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 lbs mussels, cleaned
- 3 leeks, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tsp marjoram, chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1Soak 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads in 1 cup dry white wine for 10 minutes, or until the liquid turns bright yellow.
2Clean 2 pounds cultivated mussels, checking to ensure they’re tightly closed.
3In a large, heavy soup pot with a lid, sauté 3 sliced, washed leeks in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 2 minutes, or until bright green. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute, or until the aromas are released.
4Add the saffron-infused wine, the mussels, and 2 cups purchased or homemade tomato sauce. Cover tightly and steam, shaking frequently, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that don’t open, sprinkle in 2 teaspoons chopped marjoram and 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, and shake to combine. Serve in heated bowls and top with crostini.
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