This story appears in the Spring 2014 issue of Eidé Magazine. Read it here, or click to read it in the issue below.
Recipe and photography by Julia Gartland
2 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons butter 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced 3 small spring onions, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 large leek, thinly sliced 2 pounds mussels 1 1/4 cup white wine 3-4 tablespoons tomato jam 1 Meyer lemon, juice and zest 3 tablespoons marjoram leaves, de-stemmed 1 tablespoon tarragon, roughly chopped Sea salt to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste
Rinse and clean mussels well. Soak in a large mixing bowl of clean, cold water. Drain in a colander and rinse well with cold water, using a brush to remove all sand. Make sure to remove any beards from the shells, and discard any mussels that are open or not tightly closed. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, fennel and leek — sauté until translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Pour in white wine carefully, then stir in tomato jam, lemon juice, zest and fresh herbs. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, then bring mixture to a boil.
Add mussels and cover for 6-8 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened. Shake the pot well once or twice during cooking to make sure mussels are evenly dispersed. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and top with extra fresh herbs.
Transfer mussels to shallow bowls, making sure to include plenty of broth. Serve with crusty bread and/or french fries — enjoy!