I love to get away. If there’s a trip to be had, I can be packed and ready with suitcase in hand within minutes. Like that one time my coworker casually invited on a last minute trip to Europe and showed up at the airport a day later with luggage and ticket in hand. True, it was slightly awkward at first but we ended up having an amazing time and have been close friends ever since. But no matter where my travels takes me, the one thing I miss is a homecooked meal so I cook and cook and cook when I return even if it’s something simple like these Miso Mussels with Wilted Greens.
Heat oil in a medium 3-quart saucepan or cast iron pot over medium heat. When oil is warm and shimmers, add shallots, turn to coat and cook until just softened. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mussels, stir to coat, then add sake or wine and cover. Cook until mussels open, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove mussels to a serving plate (discard any mussels that don't open). Add miso and butter to the saucepan and stir until smooth. Immediately remove from heat, stir in greens until just wilted, pour over mussels (avoiding any grit at the bottom of the pan), and serve with copious amounts of crusty bread.
Don't let the miso boil or it will separate! Also, take heed from my stepmother's mussel technique and you won't need a fork! The concept is as follows: remove (and eat) the meat out of one of the mussels, leaving the halves connected so its like a castanet. Then use that empty shell as a sort of tweezer to pluck the meat from the other shells.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp