Rinse mussels under running water. Tap mussels on the edge of the sink; discard those that do not close. Leave the rest in cold water.
Peal and finely chop the shallots and garlic; finely chop the celery, leek, and carrots. Chop the butter into cubes and divide. Saute vegetables in half of the butter for about 3 minutes; add white wine, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a high heat. Add mussels and cook on high for five minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Bring cooking liquid to a boil and add the remainder of the butter, whisking. Serve with chopped fresh parsley.
1 head of cauliflower, stem trimmed and leaves removed
Preheat oven to 250C. Bring wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 C water to a boil. Lower the cauliflower into the broth, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer cauliflower to colander to drain, and then move to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast, rotating pan half-way through, until brown all over, 30 to 40 minutes.
50 g hard cheese (such as grana padano, pecorino, parmesan), grated
Cut the onions in half horizontally and remove the innermost layers, so that each onion half still has two layers. Place the hollow onions in a greased baking dish. Chop the interior onion. Heat oil in a pan with a thick bottom, and fry in oil until soft. Add the rice, and 1 T of herbs, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add half of the wine, and reduce by half; add bouillon, and cook rice for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Preheat oven to 200C. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until golden brown, and allow to cool. Add half of the cheese and the rest of the herbs to the pine nuts; add the other half of the cheese to the rice. Fill halved onions with the rice, and top with the nuts and cheese. Pour the remainder of the wine into the dish, and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
2014-02-23: Stuffed peppers instead of onions, and used basmati instead of risotto. And no pine nuts, since I didn’t in fact have any. It filled 4 large peppers about 3/4 full.
2013-04-23: Made this with three onions instead of six (since it was just the three of us), liberally refiguring all the quantities (it’s just not worth being too strict when converting from grams into ounces and cutting in half). Since the majority of yellow onions that I had were small, I used one yellow and two red. Instead of pre-mixed Italian herbs, I used equal parts basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.