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Basmati Rice with Mussels, Raisins, and Walnuts

Mussels are easy to cook, and the cooking broth becomes part of the flavorful sauce in this delicious recipe from Rosalinda Paez and our friends at (Photo: Lori Eanes Photography)

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Basmati Rice with Mussels, Raisins, and Walnuts
By Rosalinda Paez

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Serves 4

9 cups water, divided
Sea salt
1 cup white basmati rice
2 pounds mussels, debearded* and rinsed
1 organic bay leaf
2 lemons, quartered
5 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
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

*Vital Choice mussels come de-bearded.

  • 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.

  • Meanwhile, add the mussels to a medium skillet with 1 cup water, the bay leaf, the lemons, and the whole peppercorns. Cook covered for 5‒7 minutes on medium-high heat, until all shells are open. Discard any mussels that do not open, and transfer all the open ones to a bowl. Strain the cooking broth and reserve. Squeeze the cooked lemons into the broth.

  • 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. Divide the rice and mussels onto plates, pour the sauce over the mussels, and sprinkle with the walnuts.

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