This is hands down my favorite mussel appetizer ever. And the fact that it can be made up to the day before makes entertaining so easy! It's adapted from (we changed a few things just to use our products) the cookbook Cúrate by Katie Button and I couldn't be more thrilled to share it with you!
Chilled Mussels in Escabeche
Tangy tomatoes combine with sweet Lambrusco red wine vinegar and garlic for delicious seafood appetizer. Excellent paired with a crisp white wine like a Spanish Verdejo or Italian Vermentino.
1 TBS tomato paste
1/4 C dry white wine
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
4 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C thinly sliced onion
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 dried bay leaf
2 TBS Amontillado Sherry
2 TBS Lambrusco Red Wine Vinegar
2 lbs mussels
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the garlic and 2 TBS olive oil and sauté the garlic for about a minute. Add the onion and continue cooking for about another 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the white wine (may substitute veggie broth) and tomato paste and whisk over heat until the liquids are incorporated together. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Sherry and the Lambrusco and cook about a minute. Take out the bay leaf and transfer the rest into a blender. While the blender is running on low, ad another tablespoon or two of the olive oil until it is a smooth puree. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. May keep for up to one day.
Preparing the Mussels
To clean the mussels, run them under cold water. Make sure they are closed, throw away any shells that are broken or that are not fully closed. If their bards stick out, pull them off and discard. Fill a large bowl with ice, half the amount of cold water, and 2 TBS salt. Stir well until salt has dissolved as much as possible. Fill a large stock pot with water and a generous amount of salt - similar to cooking pasta. Bring to a roiling boiling and add the mussels. As each mussel pops open, wait about a 30 seconds before taking it out of the boiling water and submerging it into the ice bath. After all the mussels have cooked and cooled, drain and twist off one shell - the top shell and discard them. The mussels can be refrigerated in an airtight container one day in this cooked state.
Arrange the mussels on a serving platter and spoon the escabeche sauce over each one. There should be enough to generously coat the meat but not overflowing in the shell.