- 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
- 3/4 cup pitted green olives, or olives with pimientos, plus 3 tbsp olive brine
- 3 - 4 cloves garlic, pasted or grated
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 6 tablespoons EVOO
- 2 small onions, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup good quality gin
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 3 pounds medium mussels (about 4 dozen) scrubbed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- warm, crusty bread, torn into chunks, for mopping
Using a food processor, finely chop the parsley, olives, garlic and lemon zest. Pour in 1/4 cup EVOO and the lemon juice and process into a pesto.
In a large pot or deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the pesto. Add the gin and vermouth and cook until reduced, about 1 minute. Add the mussels, cover and steam until opened, 6 to 8 minutes; discard any unopened shells.
Add the butter to the mussels and shake the pan to melt it into the sauce. Serve with the bread for mopping.