Recipe: Mussels with Chorizo and Winter Greens
This time of year, seldom sun breaks lead to saddened faces. Combat the end of winter blues with foods that give you a natural boost in mood while you pine for warmer, sunnier days.
Mussels have some of the highest naturally occurring levels of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for brain health. This nutrient, maintained at proper levels, helps to preserve the myelin sheath that surrounds and insulates your brain cells. Deficiency of vitamin B12 has been linked to greater risk in brain atrophy or shrinkage in older individuals.
Mussels also contain trace minerals including zinc, iodine, selenium and others that help to support thyroid health, which aids in regulating our moods, keeping your smile coming easy. Not only are mussels a low-fat, healthy choice for you and your body, they are a sustainable choice, just look for mussels that are sustainably farmed and not harvested in the wild.
Paired with the cancer fighting, antioxidant rich winter greens and you have a power-packed dish, healthy and full of flavor.
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup seeded and diced fresh tomato
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup shrimp stock*
- 6 oz Spanish-style chorizo, sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 3 cups braising mix (or mixture of chopped kale, chard and beet greens), julienned
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon, quartered
- In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the edges of the onion begin to brown, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine, stock, chorizo, and thyme and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mussels, coating them with the sauce mixture. Cover and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times, until the mussels have opened, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss in thinly sliced braising mix until bright green and slightly wilted. Season with pepper and more salt if necessary.
- Discard any mussels that have not opened. Serve the mussels with the sauce, lemon quarters and greens. Serve with a salad and try this Blood Orange Vinaigrette for a bright citrus note that will pair well with the lemon in the mussels.
- * To make a quick and easy shrimp stock, simmer shrimp shells from a 1/2 lb of shrimp in one quart of water with a quarter onion, two garlic cloves and a bay leaf until reduced by over half. Quick, tasty and easy shrimp stock!