Mussels with Nasturtium Pesto & White Wine

So I’m cuddled up in bed with my smelly pug, jazz is blasting out of my iPad, and I just popped two NyQuils. You guys- NyQuil is kind of crazy. One minute I’m standing in my kitchen finishing up the dishes and literally six seconds later I’m lying face down on the bathroom floor in a pool of my own drool and regurgitated herbal tea. That stuff is STRONG. I have a cold, not malaria, JEEZUS.

Anyways, nightly rituals, amiright? Just kidding. But it’s day 8 of the cold from hell (that actually makes zero sense but you get what I mean…) and this morning I realized, yes, oh yes, that’s why I’m still feeling absolutely wretched. This has morphed into a full on sinus infection! I haven’t had one in years but tomorrow morning I have a phone appointment with my doctor who, god bless her soul, will hopefully call in some antib’s so this b can get on with her life and head to her BRIDAL SHOWER ON SATURDAY MORNING YIPEEEEEEE.

I  can’t wait to head back to the mountains to celebrate with family.

I had the time of my LIFE last weekend for my bachelorette party. I mean what happens at bachelorette parties stays at dem bachelorette parties but I will say all three days were filled with endless enchanting views of the mountains, the laughter of old friends, too many Moscow Mules, and of course delicious tacos and pizza. It was a weekend for the books…as long as the books are not Bibles. Catch my drift?

In between cleaning every crevice of my house yesterday because hashtag springcleaning, I decided it was time for a recipe that I could have a lot of fun photographing. I know I know, I like to push the envelope when I’m sick and just see how far I can go before the NyQuil hits. Enter: SEAFOOD. Salt Spring Mussels, to be exact.

While walking my overfed dog, I spotted some nasturtiums growing around my property. Their leaves and flowers actually contain mustard oils which give them a bright and peppery, relatively pungent taste. These oils are natural antifungals and antivirals and the plants themselves are surprisingly high in vitamin C making these the absolute perfect food for me as I impatiently await a heavy dose of antibiotics. The contrasting flavors lend themselves beautifully to the richness of cheese and nuts so I figured why not make a zesty spring pesto?

Damn. I LOVE food. It nourishes, heals, and inspires. I had a ton of fun shooting (and subsequently devouring) this dish. I really hope you enjoy. Aaaaaaaaand, NyQuil is just starting to kick in. Buenas noches, beautifuls. Sending you happiness, health, and bowls of green mussels.

Mussels with Nasturtium Pesto & White Wine

Makes: 4 servings

For the pesto:

  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups packed nasturtium leaves, stems removed and rinsed
  • 1 cup packed nasturtium blossoms, rinsed (can sub in more leaves if you want instead)
  • 1 1/4 cups pine nuts
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the mussels:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed clean and debearded*
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. For the pesto, simply blend all the pesto ingredients together. At first I used my food processor, but it was a little too chunky. I threw it in my high-speed blender and voila— ultra creamy, bright green perfection. Play with your kitchen tools to see what yields you the perfect pesto. Taste and see if it needs more lemon, salt, or oil. Scoop into a jar and set aside.
  2. For the rest, bring that 1 cup of white wine to a gentle boil in a large pot. I’m not exactly telling you to drink the rest but a dry white wine pairs veeeeeery nicely with seafood JUST SAYING.
  3. Add mussels, cover, and let cook until each mussel is open (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and add a couple sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper. Remove mussels from pot.
  4. Whisk in 1/2 cup of pesto to the white wine and serve mussels over the green liquid. Save the rest of the pesto for fish, veggies, pizza, etc. Pesto will keep up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator.

*Some mussels come with a little ‘beard’ attached. For these guys, it’s always No Shave November- and we’ve gotta tear them out. Grab the thin brown threads and gently yank them to one side until they pop out. If any mussels are open before cooking them, tap them gently against the counter and if they don’t close up in a few minutes, discard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *