Dinner Tonight: Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomatoes


[Photograph: Blake Royer]

The general idea for cooking mussels hasn't changed all that much: you start with some aromatics like garlic, onion, shallots, or leeks; you go on with tomatoes, or a splash of white wine, probably a little butter; and you finish by adding the mussels, which open to release their delicious brine, forming that wonderful "pot liquor" for sopping up with crusty bread. That broth is the best part of any mussels recipe.

So this recipe is intriguing: no crusty bread in sight. But by adding in pearls of cooked Israeli couscous (a larger variety, though you could also use the smaller couscous to substitute) and simmering them for the last few minutes of cooking, they begin soaking up that musselly, tomato-and-fresh-oregano broth. I loved the way this became something halfway between traditional mussels and a rich soup. It was less messy to eat and that broth-with-cous-cous base pretty much stole the show.

Adapted from Lucid Food.

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