Some things are worth repeating.
Full disclosure: I have posted a close relative of this recipe before. That was a long time ago, the early days of this blog, and this is slightly tweaked, plus the photos are new (since I made it again for a visit from my sister-in-law and niece).
They are still the best damn mussels I have ever had and you should know about them, because they are also extremely easy to prepare and can be made the night before any big affair. (Washing out the shells takes a bit of time, but it is satisfying and mindless work that can be done while sipping a glass of something and chatting companionably with whomever is around).
Served cold and slurped right from the shell, they are a stupendous appetizer in looks and flavor. Want to impress? These are your bad boys.
(serves 4-6 as an appetizer. For more guests, double the mussels, but just half again of everything else)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
heaping Tbs small capers
2 Tbsp minced red onion
1 Tbs minced roasted red peppers (you can also use jarred pimientos, the sweet kind)
1 Tbs minced parsley
pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper
2 lbs mussels in their shells
1 slice lemon
Whisk the oil and vinegar together, then add the capers, onion, peppers, parsley, salt and pepper. Put the mix into a large freezer bag (if you need this dish to be portable)
Boil one cup of water in a big pot with the lemon slice. Add the mussels and bring to a boil, covered. Pluck out the mussels when they open (waiting until the meat separates completely from the shell into a little sausage shape and then pulling out immediately) and put in a separate bowl to cool. Discard any mussels that do not open after ten minutes. Remove the mussel meat and put into plastic bag with the seasonings and refrigerate.
Save half the mussels shells and clean well (this is the tedious part; make sure you have good music on). Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
To serve the next day, arrange shells on an attractive and large platter and put one mussel in each. Spoon the remaining seasoning over each.