Mussels steamed with white wine, tomato and basil

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(serves 4 as an entree)

  • 1 kg mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1-2 long dried chilli
  • A splash of white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ bunch parsley chopped
  • ½ bunch basil, torn
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Crusty bread to serve
  • 1 cup cooked pearl barley


Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent. Turn the heat up and add the chilli, bay leaves, lemon zest and mussels and toss well. Add a splash of white wine and the tomatoes and cover with a lid. After a minute of cooking, lift the lid and check to see that most of the mussels should have started to open. Add the pearl barley. Pour in the lemon juice, a good amount of olive oil, the parsley, basil and a good grind of pepper. Serve straight away with plenty of crusty bread.