Steamed Mussels with Vermouth and Tarragon are not only delicious but a quick, inexpensive meal that is so easy to make.
While I love mussels, it’s not something I think about making, which is a shame because they are so incredibly easy to make. You might think that it’s complicated but seriously it’s so easy you’ll be like me and ask yourself why you don’t make them all the time. I figured they couldn’t be too hard because all the restaurants around here have mussel night and it’s very affordable. Steaming mussels is so easy and adding a vermouth and tarragon were perfect compliments.
I chatted with the seafood guy at Whole Foods and he explained that when you purchase mussels, keep them on ice but don’t close the plastic bag they come in. If you do, it will suffocate the mussels and then they won’t open up. Everyone around here knows the deal with mussels or clams, if the shells don’t open, don’t eat them! But it’s always a mystery to me as to when they are in season. I’ve been getting them all month here and they have been pretty tasty. Apparently they are the best from October through April. So start looking for them in your market.
All you have to do to steam them is add some vermouth or white wine, a little butter and some shallots to a large pot. Add the mussels, toss them around a couple of times so the flavors get to all the mussels and let them steam for about 6 minutes. You’ll know they are done when they’ve opened up. Then serve with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce. This might be the easiest dinner that I make.
You would think mussels would be expensive, but a 2 lb bag at Whole Foods was less than $8.00, hard to beat that.
Mussels with Vermouth and Tarragon
- 2 lbs Fresh mussels rinsed
- 2 shallots chopped
- ½ cup Vermouth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons tarragon chopped
- Place butter, vermouth, tarragon and chopped shallots in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add rinsed mussels and cover. Shake the pot a few times to get the sauce over the mussels.
- Steam for 3-6 minutes until the mussels have opened. Remove mussels to serving bowl and bring shallot mixture to a full boil. Cook for a minute or 2 until it has cooked down and pour over the mussels.
- Do not eat any mussels that don’t open.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can substitute a dry white wine for the vermouth.