I’ve always been a picky eater. Or maybe, just a weird eater.
I can remember refusing to eat the “ends” of hot dogs, and making my mom cut them off. I would eat eggs, but only the whites. I can even remember staying at a friend’s house and when her mom made us breakfast, requesting just the egg whites, please. (High-maintenance, much?)
I went through a short phase where I would only eat tuna fish sandwiches for lunch, with very light mayo, and I would only eat the part of the sandwich with the crust, leaving the middle to be thrown away. Then, I decided I hated mayo half way through second grade. So, I became the strange girl with a tupperware container of plain tuna that I would eat with a fork.
Not surprisingly, I burnt out on tuna (never to eat it again) and moved on to pepperoni sandwiches. These sandwiches consisted of… you guessed it, pepperoni on Italian bread. (How very healthy!)
But, pepperoni sandwiches were like, sooooo second grade. I was totally over them.
Third grade: salad. I was the proud owner of one of the first little plastic containers with the knife and fork that slid out of the top. Please humor me and tell me you what I’m talking about. Again, not so odd today (and much healthier than whatever my fellow third-graders were eating) but it was so NOT cool to be eating salad at 8 years old.
You get the picture.
My palate remained unsophisticated throughout my middle school, high school, and college years, unless you count my loathe turned love for coffee.
Seafood was always a huge “no no,” minus that 2 year stint with tuna back in elementary school. In recent years, I will always take a bite when Lloyd or someone else orders it, but I’ve never enjoyed it. And then I tried mahi mahi at my cousin’s restaurant this summer.
My world was changed. Not only did I tolerate the fish, but I liked it! This came as a huge surprise to anyone who knows me. Not long after, peer pressure got the best of me, and I found myself shooting oysters over a work dinner. It turned out I adored them! I found myself craving them, and begging Lloyd to take me out for oysters.
Now, I am much more open to trying more seafood. One of my latest favorites to order on a menu is mussels. My absolute favorite come from Square Café, but when I can’t get in there, making them at home is the next best thing. I’ve made this recipe twice now, and both times it turned out wonderfully. It’s inexpensive, healthy, and simple. The entire meal comes together in about 20 minutes, which is perfect for a week night.
Mussels with Tomato and Basil over Linguine
- 6 oz. linguine
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ white onion, diced
- 1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ½ C chicken broth or dry white wine
- 2 lbs. mussels, cleaned and debearded
- ½ C fresh basil, chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- bread, for serving (optional)
- Prepare your linguine, cooking until al dente. Drain and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant and tender.
- Add tomatoes, zest, and broth (or wine). Let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the mussels and cover the pan. Cook about 4 minutes, or until mussels open.
- Remove from heat and discard any mussels that do not open.
- Transfer pasta to a serving dish and top with mussels and broth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top with basil and parsley, and serve with bread to soak up extra broth.