Moules provencales

Another quick but elegant dish. On a cool night, these mussels and a fresh loaf of bread are all you need. Be sure to look for closed mussels with unblemished shells and give each a rough scrub under cold water to remove any grit.


3 lbs mussels, scrubbed clean

3 tbsp butter (reserve 1 tbsp of it for the sauce)

3/4 cup white wine

2 shallots, chopped fine

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp parsley, chopped fine

1 tsp dry thyme (or a few sprigs fresh)

1 clove garlic, minced

Handful or two of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if need be

One lemon, quartered

How to

Put a large pot over high heat and add all of the above ingredients except for the lemon, parsley and 1 tbsp of butter. Cover and leave on high heat until all of the mussels have opened up. Remove the mussels, add most of the parsley and the remaining butter, and cook the sauce down to a less runny consistency. Pour the sauce over the bowls of mussels and garnish with the lemon and the remaining parsley. Serve with lots of fresh bread. to sop up the sauce.