Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mussels saganaki (μύδια σαγανάκι)

Everytime I want to feel the taste of the sea, I buy blue mussels. I love to scrub and clean their dark blue shells, to check for broken ones, to put the good ones into the pot. I like the smell of my kitchen in the short 10-20 minutes of preparation and long hours after that. And I always enjoy sipping their juices from the shells and feel their salty broth as a juicy message from the sea. I know, female mussels are orange, male mussels are light yellow. Their colors match perfectly the red of tomato sauce and the white of Feta cheese. But this is not the main reason I prepare often mussels saganaki. The taste of this dish is unforgettable. Along with garides saganaki, this is a very popular dish in the fish restaurants of Northern Greece. And also in my home. As with many other dishes, I increase the spicyness by adding lots of hot peppers and chili flakes, but you can adjust it according to your taste. 


  • 1 kg (2 lb) fresh blue mussels
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • large onion, chopped
  • cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 hot banana peppers, sliced thin
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 600 g (20 oz) canned tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 300 g (2/3 pound) of Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp dry oregano (lovage instead of oregano is also very good)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • pinch parsley for garnish, chopped


Rinse mussels in a cold tap water. Scrub them and remove the beard. Discard any broken mussels or mussels that do not close after being rinsed. Heat butter and olive oil in a pot on medium-high heat. Place garlic, onion and bell peppers and cook until the onions have softened, about 15 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, lemon juice, oregano, chili flakes and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add mussels, cover, and then cook for 5 additional minutes, or until mussels have opened. Throw away any mussels that did not open. Take out of the shells the meat of half of the mussels and discard shells. Add the crumbled Feta, mix well to incorporate into the sauce and serve in warm soup bowls with a sprinkle of chopped parsley above and some slices of crusty bread.

No comments:

Post a Comment