Steamed mussels with fresh herbs (mydia saganaki)

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Saganaki mussels with fresh herbs is an amazing appetizer, especially for those who love seafood. Aromatic herbs give the dish a more summery touch. An easy and quick recipe that can be a perfect meze for ouzo. Also ideal during the fasting period.

The prevailing view is that mussels contain cholesterol. The reality is somewhat different: 100 grams of puréed mussel contains 58 mg of cholesterol, while 100 g of white feta cheese contains 70 mg of cholesterol.

Mussels have a special, mild taste, which is quite unique. They can also be eaten raw but are tastier slightly steamed and seasoned with herbs or in dishes with other ingredients. Fried (or steamed) they can be combined with various ingredients  – even white cheeses  – but they are just as wonderful grilled, in half a shell, with a little oil, garlic, herbs. Even red sauces suit them. They need minimal baking, otherwise they toughen, shrink, and lose their flavor. We can steam them first, plain or with a little wine, with herbs until they open up (3.) Then add them to whatever dish we want to serve. In this way, the excessive saltiness of their delicious broth can be controlled.

The toxin produced by contaminated mussels, called mitilitossina, has a very bad odour, but it loses a significant part of its toxicity by cooking. It can cause gastroenteritis, and even very dangerous neurotoxic or paralytic poisoning. In exceptional cases, it can even lead to death. Thanks to the new stricter rules and mandatory checks on which mussel growers are subject to, this risk is minimized.

We can combine them with  cod croquettes.