A type of sea mollusk, mussels are low in calories, loaded with lean protein and vitamins and minerals and rich in healthy polyunsaturated fats. They’re also a great source of dietary fiber.
Mussels are harvested from oceans around the world and can be cooked in a variety of ways. They can be baked, grilled on skewers or used as the base for soups and pastas. But a classic preparation is steaming them, usually in wine or with other flavorful ingredients. This method is simple and a delicious way to enjoy this versatile seafood.
The most famous mussel dish in France is moules marinieres, or mussels in white wine and butter. It’s a simple dish, which allows the flavors of the mussels and the aromatics to really shine. Traditionally, it includes onions or shallots, garlic, thyme and/or parsley. Some cooks add a little cream to the sauce for a creamy finish; this elevates the dish to Moules Poulette.
When purchasing mussels, look for ones that are tightly closed and smell fresh. Avoid any that are open or have cracked shells as these are likely dead or dying. Also, be sure to use a good quality white wine as this is a key ingredient of the dish. And don’t forget the crusty bread to soak up all that tasty juice!