Spanish-Style Steamed Mussels

  • 80 mussels, scrubbed and debearded

  • 1 cup Mastiha liqueur

  • 1 cup water

  • ¾ cup blanched almonds

  • ½ cup pine nuts

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • ¼ cup fresh chopped coriander

  • ½ tsp. Mastiha powder

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped

  • 2 tsp. paprika

  • ½ - 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1 ½ cups chopped plum tomatoes, with their juices

  • 2 tsp. tomato paste

  • Salt

  1. Place the mussels in a large pot along with the Mastiha liqueur and the water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam for 6-7 minutes, until the mussels open, discarding any that don’t. Transfer the mussels to a bowl, strain the pot juices, and set aside.

  2. Place the almonds, pine nuts, garlic, parsley, coriander, Mastiha powder and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a food processor and purée to a paste.

  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and sauté the onion until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, cayenne, tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the nut mixture and enough of the pot juices from the mussels to make a very thick sauce. Add salt to taste.

  4. Arrange the mussels on a serving platter and spoon a little of the sauce into each of them. Serve immediately.