- Gently brush mussels in cold water and remove beards (filaments).
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add leeks, celery and pepper; fry for 2 minutes or until tender.
- Add white wine, pesto and tomatoes. Season with pepper to taste and stir. Add mussels, stirring to coat. Cover and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until mussels open.
- Stir mussels halfway through cooking to coat with cooking liquid.
- Divide mussels among 4 warmed large shallow bowls, or 4 round-bottomed metal mixing bowls. Top with the vegetables and cooking broth.
- Serve immediately, along with oven fries and mayonnaise, or crusty bread.
: Replace Compliments basil pesto by the dried-tomato variety.
From the kitchen to the table
- Never soak mussels in water when washing.
- Do not use any open mussels that do not shut when lightly tapped.
- Stir mussels halfway through cooking so that they open at the same rate and are well coated with cooking liquid.
- Discard any mussels that have not opened during cooking.
- Serve mussels in warmed plates or metal cooking bowls so they stay warm for longer.
- Cover serving plates with bowls to keep mussels hot before they're eaten and to hold the empty shells.