Jordan and I enjoyed a romantic night in last Saturday. We had high hopes to cook something new and elaborate with lots of steps, but when we got to the store we decided instead on mussels and clams. We cooked them simply in a base of vegetable broth, tomato, fennel and garlic and ate them with a loaf of crusty Acme sourdough.
The best part about this meal (other than the fact that it is totally delicious) is that it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, but looks much more impressive.
Mussels and Clams with Fennel, Tomato and Green Garlic
1 lb mussels, rinsed
1/2 lb clams, rinsed
1/2 cup white wine
1 8 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 medium bulb of fennel, sliced
2 stalks green garlic, sliced
Salt, pepper, chili flake
Slice the green garlic and fennel. Heat a little olive in sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Toss in the garlic and fennel. Saute for a few minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and the sauce, a little salt, pepper and a small pinch of chili flake. Saute for a few minutes and add the white wine and enough broth for a saucy consistency. Toss the shellfish in and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 – 8 minutes. They are done when they open up. Pour into a dish, garnish with parsley or fennel fronds, squeeze a little lemon over the top and enjoy with hunks of crusty bread.
We also made a salad with arrugula, apple and fennel fronds to balance out the meal. It was delightful, quick and only made one pot dirty … leaving me plenty of time and dishes to make cinnamon rolls from scratch.