Sweet, plump mussels, at their best from September through April, are combined with sausage, kale, and paprika in a Portuguese-style stew.
Servings: Makes 4 Servings
Ingredients 1 head garlic , cloves separated and peeled (about 1/2 cup)1 small onion , peeled and quartered1 1/2 tsp. mild smoked paprika1 tsp. ground coriander1 tsp. ground fennel seed3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil1/2 pound linguica or chorizo sausage , sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces1 bunch kale (about 8 ounces), stemmed and coarsely chopped2 pounds mussels , debearded and washed3 cups fish stock or clam juice or water6 Tbsp. unsalted butterFreshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, blend garlic, onion, paprika, coriander, and fennel. With motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil; blend until a fine paste forms (you may need to add a bit more oil).
Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in spice paste and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until color changes slightly and raw onion aroma has dissipated. Stir in kale until just wilted. Stir in mussels and stock.
Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a simmer. Stir once more and cover tightly. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until all mussels have opened (discard any mussels that haven't).
To serve, divide mussels and kale among 4 large soup bowls, using a slotted spoon (leaving broth behind). Whisk butter into broth, add black pepper to taste, and ladle into each of the bowls of mussels, dividing evenly. Drizzle with about 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil each, and serve with toasted country bread.