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Basmati Rice with Mussels, Raisins, and Walnuts

Mussels are easy to cook, and the natural broth becomes part of the flavorful sauce in this delicious recipe from Rosalinda Paez and our friends at MyFoodMyHealth.com. (Photo: Lori Eanes Photography)
Yield: Serves 4
Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Additional:
Ingredients
9 cups water, divided
Sea salt
1 cup white basmati rice
1 organic bay leaf
2 lemons, quartered
5 black peppercorns
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped organic walnuts
Preparation
1.  Bring 8 cups of the water with 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large pot. Add the basmati rice and cook uncovered on high heat for 10 minutes. Drain the rice well, return the rice to the same pot, and cover to keep warm.
2.  Meanwhile, add the mussels to a medium skillet with 1 cup water, bay leaf, lemons, and whole peppercorns. Cook covered for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high heat, until all shells are open.
3.  Discard any mussels that do not open and transfer the open ones to a bowl. Strain the cooking broth and reserve. Squeeze the cooked lemons into the broth.
4.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the shallots and sauté over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the reserved broth, the tomato paste, the raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until the tomato paste dissolves. Simmer rapidly, uncovered, for about 10 minutes to reduce and concentrate the sauce.
5.  Divide the rice and mussels onto plates, pour the sauce over the mussels, and sprinkle with the walnuts.
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