It’s been so cold for days now in Zagreb and all I’m thinking about is summer and spending my time at the beach or swimming in the sea. Every time I think of summer, delicious Mediterranean recipes pop up, either it’s fish or other seafood, I love it all, especially as I’m used to preparing fresh seafood from the Adriatic. This time it’s mussels and it’s been months since I last prepared them.
There’s an amazing fact about mussels and the Adriatic sea, if you get to the Croatian seaside or one of the islands there are so many mussels you can notice them growing on the ropes of boats tied to the shore. For me the best mussels are the Adriatic ones and that’s just what they remind me of every time I prepare them in Zagreb, which is a long way from the seaside. At the Croatian coast there’s a simple and traditional way of preparing mussels which requires just a few ingredients, and of course Croatian white wine. I’m sharing that recipe with you today and can’t wait to hear the feedback!
A few interesting facts about Mussels:
- Mussels have been cultivated for almost 800 years in Europe, and have been used as a food source for more than 20,000 years
- They are largest in October and smallest in March
- Mussels feed entirely on plankton, to do this they can filter up to 65 litres of water a day
- Ounce for ounce mussel meat contains more protein than beef stock, much less fat, many more mineral nutrients and a quarter of the calories
- Scientists are trying to develop a mussel-based adhesive for use in eye surgery
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Enjoy & happy cooking!
Preparation: 30 min
Cook time: 45 min
- 1,5 kg mussels
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 200 ml white wine
- 1/2 lemon
- 8 slices of bread
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tsp shallot, freshly chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Using a small knife clean the shells if needed and wash them.
- In a large sauce pan or even a large pot heat 4 tbsp of olive oil. Add pressed garlic and parsley. After simmering for a minute stir in cleaned mussels, a bit of lemon juice and some salt & pepper if needed.
- Pour in white wine, add oregano and basil, cook to a boil. Reduce heat and cover the pot and let them simmer for a few more minutes.
- When shells open, stir the pot and that’s it!
- Sprinkle some olive oil over each slice of bread, spread over some pressed garlic and freshly chopped shallot. Grill the bread until crispy. Enjoy!