When America celebrates the Fourth of July, it’s a great time to stop and appreciate the stunning diversity of cuisine brought to this country by the millions of immigrants who have come to America for over 240 years.
Consider how Americans are blessed with a cuisine that provides an opportunity to enjoy Mexican tacos, Swiss fondue, Irish baked potatoes, Russian cheesecake, Chinese hot and sour soup to name just a few.
One national cuisine enjoyed by a large majority of Americans is Italian, thankfully now appreciated as including many, many more outstanding dishes then 1950’s pasta from a can.
A perfect example of an Italian entrée that more truly represent the range of Italian cuisine is…
Italian Orange and Basil Mussels
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, sliced
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 pounds Taylor Mussels in shells, scrubbed, beards pulled off
- 1/3 cup sliced fresh basil leaves, divided
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Cook garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add wine, orange juice, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chili flakes and let simmer 5 minutes.
- Add mussels and half the basil; cook, covered, until mussels have opened, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with remaining basil.
- Serve with warm crusty Italian bread such as ciabatta.