Right after I took the California bar exam last summer, my wonderful boyfriend took me on a 3 week adventure through Italy, France, Switzerland (a little) and Austria. The whole trip was amazing and we ate exceptionally well. The food I remember most was, of course, along the French Riviera. Numerous cafés and bistros serving local seafood and produce artfully prepared lined the streets. I was in heaven. One of my favorite simple lunches was the classic French dish “Moules Frites” which translates to “Mussels and Fries.” You get a heaping pot of mussels in your choice of sauces (I like the Roquefort and the traditional tomato), some bread for dipping and skinny fries in a paper cone with aioli. Mmmm… I can almost taste it now.
Seeing some mussels at the farmer’s market brought me back to this wonderful trip. I snatched them up right away and set out to create a delicious and healthy pot de moules! The chickpeas added some extra texture and the sauce was so delicious I couldn’t help but soak up every last bit with my homemade bread. I used the recipe for wheat bread in the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (which I learned about thanks to my fabulous sister Patty!) If you haven’t tried mussels, you should. They are delightful and super easy to prepare. This sauce, however, would go great with any seafood or as a soup on its own!
- 20-24 medium/large mussels, cleaned and beards removed
Heat a large deep skillet or heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray and sauté the celery, onion and chickpeas until the onion and celery are softened and the chickpeas are lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkling with a dash of salt will help the onions release moisture and soften.
Add the tomatoes and basil and stir occasionally until it begins to simmer, about 6 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mussels into the skillet/pot and cover with the lid. Simmer for approximately 4-5 minutes or until the mussels open. Do NOT overcook or your mussels will become rubbery. Stir to coat. Serve immediately with some good crusty bread.
I baked this! It’s so easy. Click here for the recipe.
Servings: 2 Serving Size: about 10-12 mussels and 2/3 cup sauce*
Calories: 218 Fat: 1.6g Sat. Fat: 0.2g Carbs: 28.2g
Sodium: 567.2mg Fiber: 4.8g Sugar: 6.6g Protein: 7.2g
*There will be leftover sauce. The mussels on their own account for approximately 80 calories per serving. These nutrition facts do not include bread.
Martin and Me by the amazing yachts in Monte Carlo, Monaco
Moules à la sauce roquefort à proximité des plages de sable fin de Fréjus
(Mussels in Roquefort sauce enjoyed near the sandy beaches of Fréjus, France)