Steamed Mussels with Fennel & Tomato
This dish is amazing. I'm more accustomed eating this type of dish with spaghetti, but i didn't miss the noodles one bit. Serve with some crusty bread and you have an awesome meal!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 bulb fennel (with some fronds), halved and thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, very thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano plum tomatoes, crushed lightly by hand
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
- 2 pounds mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards pulled off
- Crusty bread, for serving
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 38mins
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and fennel; cook until just soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots and season with salt and pepper; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are just soft, about 4 minutes. Add the vermouth and boil to reduce slightly. Add the tomatoes and tarragon, then cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup water and the mussels. Raise the heat to high, cover and cook until the mussels open, 3 to 5 minutes. (Check halfway through and transfer any open mussels to a serving bowl.) Transfer all the mussels to a serving bowl, discarding any that do not open. Season the sauce with pepper and, if needed, salt, and pour over the mussels. Serve with the bread.
HOW TO CUT "BULB FENNELL"
Stand the fennel bulb upright (stems pointing up. Cut down through the bulb, cutting it in half, along the stem line. In other words, you'll be cutting each stem in half as part of the cut.
Now look at the inside of the bulb you've exposed. See that triangular thing starting at the bottom of the bulb and pointing upwards? That's the core, which is rock-hard. Cut it out of both halves of the bulb.
Now lay each half cut-side-down, stems facing right (or left, and make thin slices. What is "thin"? Try for 1/16" thick, but realize that you can't cut it too thin, and anything 1/8" or thinner is plenty thin enough
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