A dry, crisp Rosé wine is an excellent pairing with a wide variety of foods. Personally, when I think of our Rosé of Pinot Noir, I think of the Mediterranean, and of saffron infused fish stews. This is a recipe that my family has used from time to time when we are in the mood for fresh mussels. Don’t forget to sample a little of the Rosé while the dish is being prepared!
- 1-bunch scallions, finely sliced, including greens.
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- A nice pinch of saffron (to your taste)
- 1 cup wine (how about the Rosé you’re drinking?!)
- 1 medium fennel bulb, slice thinly
- 4 pounds mussels (cleaned shells)
- Optional- 1 baguette, sliced into crouton-sized pieces (or buy ready-made croutons)
1. To make croutons, preheat your oven to 400° F. Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until desired finish.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan. Sauté the scallions and garlic on medium-high heat until they are soft but not browned. Raise the heat to high and add the tomatoes, wine and saffron. Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat so that the mixture simmers. Cook for another ten minutes to blend the flavors.
3. Turn the heat back to high and add the fennel and the mussels. Cover and let steam until most of the mussels have opened, around 5 minutes, shaking the covered pan occasionally to stir the mussels. Take off the heat and discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and then divide the mussels in equal measures into four large bowls. Pour over the sauce and serve with the croutons. I personally reserve my croutons to soak up in the sauce after I’m finished with the mussels.