Updated: Aug 19, 2020
Hubby and I went to one of our favourite Greek Restaurants called Ouzeri on Danforth. I believe the first time we went there was for Winterlicious one year. I fell in love with a mussels dish they had on the menu and decided I had to create my version of it to enjoy at home. If you're able to get fresh mussels from a reputable fishmonger that's great! If not just purchase from a reliable supermarket. If buying fresh whole mussels, make sure the shells are tightly closed when you buy them, or they should close when you tap them. As far as the wine being used, please use a red wine that you would enjoy drinking. I like a fruity medium bodied wine for this sauce. Believe me the sauce is so delish you'll wanna mop it up with your bread!
1 tbsp oil
1 small shallot or 1/2 an onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ - 2 cups red wine (use a wine that you'd enjoy drinking)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 lb Mussels, bearded and scrubbed
1/4 - 1/2 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly diced tomatoes (if not using crushed tomatoes)
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. oregano
3 or more sprigs thyme
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (total needed for whole recipe)
¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp sugar (optional)
fresh chives, chopped for garnish (optional)
1 tsp fresh basil, cut in thin strips
lemon for garnish
One 8 ounce french bread
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 tsps pr more parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced finely
1. For the garlic bread: Combine garlic butter ingredients and spread on the bread. Place on a lined baking tray and bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes.
For the mussels: Heat oil and sauté shallot/onion and garlic till soft but not brown. Add fresh diced tomatoes if using them. Add tomato sauce if using that. lemon juice, wine, salt and black pepper.
2. Bring to a simmer and reduce the wine for about 6 minutes. While it simmers add oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes and thyme. After 6 minutes add basil, sugar and the mussels then cover and simmer for about 5 minutes for half shell mussels or 8 - 10 minutes for whole shells at medium high heat.
3. Discard the unopened mussels if using whole and remove the other mussels to a bowl.
4. Turn off the heat under the reduced sauce and stir in the butter for a richer flavour. Add more fresh herbs and lemon
5. Ladle the sauce in a bowl under the mussles or over the cooked mussels.
6. Toss with pasta or serve with garlic bread.