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Easy Mussels Cooked in Greek Saffron-Pepper-Tomato Sauce

Mussels are a classic Greek meze, super easy to cook, and a very popular seafood component of the Mediterranean diet. Did you know that mussels have been farmed in Greece since ancient times? There are a few varieties of Greek mussels, mostly cultivated off the coasts of Northern Greece, and typically a little slimmer and smaller than mussels from New Zealand and the Atlantic. In this Greek recipe for mussels, I marry these tasty bivalves with krokos Kozanis, aka Greek saffron.

Course dinner, entree, starter
Cuisine Greek, Greek cuisine, Mediterranean diet, pescaterian
Keyword Diane Kochilas, Greek recipes, Greek saffron, mussels, seafood, tomato sauce
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
SERVES 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry Greek rosé wine
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 tablespoons spicy piperoktima or any red pepper paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Greek Krokos Kozanis saffron threads,
  • 3 dozen mussels scrubbed, debearded
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes with juice, pepper sauce, paprika, and saffron; sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 3 minutes to blend flavors.
  2. Add mussels and half of parsley; cover and cook until mussels open, about 3 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).
  3. Stir in remaining parsley. Divide mussels and juices among bowls and serve.