Reprinted with permission from knives cooks love by Sarah Jay (Andrews McMeel 2008) (Compare Prices)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 carrot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 small tomatoes
- 10 to 12 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (discard any that do not close)
Core the tomatoes. Cut them in half through the equator and squeeze out the seeds. Cut them into 1/4-inch dice and put them in a separate bowl. Cut the basil into chiffonade and reserve for the garnish.
Lightly crush the peppercorns and fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, put them in a small self-sealing plastic bag. Using the bottom of a cast-iron skillet, lightly crush them. Transfer the spices to a small dish.) Add the salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy 6-quart or larger stockpot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, carrot, and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spice mixture. Add the wine and the tomatoes along with any juices in the bowl. Bring to a boil.
Add the mussels to the stockpot (don't stir), cover, and steam until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Scoop the mussels into individual shallow bowls, discarding any that remain closed, and then spoon some vegetables and broth over them. Sprinkle each bowl with basil and serve immediately.