Mussels with Romesco Sauce


by: Xeno

Romesco sauce, a piquant mixture of chilies, nuts, and tomatoes, is a typical seasoning for seafood in the Catalan province of Tarragona. Although fresh coriander is not an ingredient found in the traditional Spanish pantry, its flavor lends a nice touch to this dish.


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serves: 9

2 lb (900 g) mussels (cleaned)

1/4 cup dry white wine


1 dried choricero (or other large, mild chile pepper)

8 oz (225 g) vine-ripened tomatoes

4 cloves garlic (peeled)

2 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts

1 slice thin (15 g) day-old white bread (crusts removed)

1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil

1 pinch of dried red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Mussels with Romesco Sauce

Servings Per Recipe: 9

Amount per Serving

Calories: 226

  • Total Fat: 15.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 28.2 mg
  • Sodium: 301.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 7.2 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
  •     Sugars: 0.8 g
  • Protein: 12.9 g

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1.  For the romesco sauce, pull out the stem of the dried chile pepper. Cover the pepper with warm water and let it soak overnight. The next day, drain it, slit it open, and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh roughly.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Put the tomatoes and 3 garlic cloves into a small roasting pan and roast for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and roast for 15 minutes more, until they are golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool.

3.  Rub the slice of bread with the remaining garlic clove. Heat a little of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the bread, and fry until richly golden on both sides. Let cool, then break it into pieces and put it into a blender with the contents of the roasting pan, the soaked chile pepper, red pepper flakes, sherry vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth. Then, with the motor still running, very gradually add the rest of the olive oil to make a thick, mayonnaise like sauce. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

4.  Put the mussels into a large pan with the wine. Cover and cook over a high heat, shaking the pan now and then, for 3 to 4 minutes until they have opened. Tip into a colander set over a bowl and leave until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, return all but the last 2 tablespoons of the mussel liquid to a sauté pan and boil vigorously until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Let cool, then stir into the romesco sauce.

5.  Preheat the broiler. Break the empty half-shell off each mussel, Loosen the mussels in their other shell and arrange them on a baking sheet in one layer. Dot each mussel with about 1 teaspoon of the romesco sauce and sprinkle with a little of the chopped oregano. Put under the broiler, close to the heat, and cook for about 1 minute until bubbling and hot. Serve straight away.

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