Mussels with Tomato Broth and Goat Cheese

I can confidently state that mussels are in my top 3 of favorite seafood dishes. Although you can hardly consider them as a singular dish, especially with all the different broths like tomato, cream and beer that are used. With all these combinations I don’t think I’ll get tired of mussels anytime soon! But the best part of mussels is the ritual of eating them: breaking open the shell and taking a bite, and a sip of the broth. And of course, mopping up the sauce with some crusty bread. The flavor is usually savory from the broth and slightly sweet and oceany from the mussels. Delicious!

When we were along the southern coast of Turkey, we took a 2 day side trip to the island of Rhodes in Greece. For dinner, we went to this restaurant called Agalma in the Rhodes new town. As an appetizer, we had these mussels in a savory tomato broth that was sprinkled with goat cheese. We loved this dish and wanted to recreate it when we got home. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, feel free to leave it out. But either way, pair this dish with our garlic bread and you’ve got a great meal!

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato juice and celery seeds. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Discard any mussels that are broken or do not shut when tapped.
  5. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
  6. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until mussels are open, about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the mussels and place into a large bowl, leaving the broth in the pot.
  8. Add the cheese into the broth and whisk over low heat for 1 minute.
  9. Pour broth over mussels and serve.

Cook’s Notes

I didn’t buy tomato juice for this recipe. Our grocery store only sells them in huge bottles, and this recipe only calls for a little bit. Instead, I had regular tomato sauce (not spaghetti or pizza sauce) on hand and mixed 3/4 cup tomato sauce with 3/4 cup water to get the 1 1/2 cups tomato juice.

For some added flavor, we used herb goat cheese.