Mussels have become one of the more versatile items in the chef’s repertoire, a sort of base to throw all sorts of intriguing flavors against. We’ve recently had ’em with hints of Merguez sausage, soaking up garlic broth, and drenched in Guinness. But for this Food Republic recipe, we’ve gone down a different path, using bacon and arugula to channel our old friend the BLT. The only things we’ll suggest besides following these steps are: have lots of crusty bread handy for sopping up (or frites, if you can); keep a couple or three cold brews nearby; and please, whatever the resemblance to an actual BLT, hold the mayo!
- 4 slices bacon, 1/2-inch dice
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes, crushed
- 3 pounds mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup arugula
- Heat a large straight-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shallots and garlic and saute until softened, another 3 minutes.
- Stir in the olive oil, crushed tomatoes, salt, and white wine and chili flakes. Bring to a simmer, add the mussels, and cover.
- Steam until mussels open, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Discard any unopened mussels. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and arugula.