Recipe: Mussels with Tomatoes and Israeli Couscous

Mussels are one of my go-to weeknight dinner staples–they’re fast, simple, and rich in flavor without being fussy. Just steam them with a splash of white wine, add minced garlic and parsley, and break off a hunk of crusty bread. Suddenly, you’ve got a meal that wouldn’t be out of place at an elegant bistro.

So why fix it if it ain’t broke? Well, as with any comforting classic, sometimes you get creative innovations when you think outside the baguette. I have always been in love with the leftover mussel “pot liquor” at the bottom of the pan, and it seems like such a waste to leave it behind. And what better use for broth could there be than using it to flavor something else, like Israeli couscous?

This version of steamed mussels comes with diced tomatoes and couscous to soak up the mussel juices, a Mediterranean twist so genius I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner. If the couscous ends up stealing the show from the mussels, so be it.

Element Seafood offers fresh mussels from Prince Edward Island and wild mussels from Rhode Island year-round. To inquire about purchasing, call us today.

Mussels with Tomatoes and Israeli Couscous

Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 4

2 T oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 lb mussels, rinsed and debearded (discard any that do not close when tapped)
1/2 cup parsley, minced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring until fragrant and beginning to brown (2 minutes). Add the tomatoes and white wine. After bringing to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In another pot, heat 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt until boiling. Add the couscous and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the couscous is al dente (10 minutes). Most of the water should be absorbed by the couscous by the end.

Stir the couscous into the tomatoes. Nestle the mussels into the tomato mixture, cover the pan and increase heat to high. Stir occasionally and cook until the mussels are open (1-3 minutes). Discard any that do not open. Garnish with parsley and serve.