Tonya Hudson’s Mussels with Diced Tomatoes and Garlic

June 28, 2023

There’s a lot of talk about Lowcountry oysters (and for good reason), but mussels are often overlooked as a comparably delicious shellfish dish. These delicate crustaceans make an excellent addition to seafood pasta and stews as well as a stand-alone dish.

We only source sustainably harvested mussels from Prince Edward Island that are delivered fresh to our market daily. From the pristine Atlantic waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, these jet-black mussels are considered some of the best in the world. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the island provide an ideal habitat for these bivalves to thrive and develop a unique flavor profile. These mussels are known for their plump and juicy meat, which has a slightly sweet and briny taste. And when paired with an aromatic mixture of tomatoes and garlic, these mussels make for a sophisticated seafood dinner that secretly took minutes to make.

•  1/4 cup olive oil
•  1 onion, chopped fine
•  6 cloves garlic, minced
•  3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
•  2 cups drained canned tomatoes in thick puree, chopped (from one 28-ounce can)
•  1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•  1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
•  4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
•  1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
•  Salt, if needed
•  Garlic Toast (optional)

1.  In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover; bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Remove the open mussels. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open. Discard any that do not open.

3.  Stir the black pepper into the broth. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with the garlic toast.

Tonya Hudson is owner of Hudson’s Seafood Market, known far and wide for selling the freshest and best seafood for over 5 generations.  
Find them at 175 Squire Pope Road, Hilton Head Island, 29926