Mussels with cauliflower

These mussels are easier to prepare than you might think.

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Mussels with cauliflower

Mussels are a great source of cheap protein.  Most available in fish markets are farmed sustainably and are pretty clean and ready to cook. I have usually just prepared them with the usual suspects, such as wine, garlic, a little butter or pesto or used them in a fish stew.

Then I found this great recipe in the New York Times that cooks them with an actual vegetable — cauliflower.

Inspired by the HUGE cauliflower we had in our refrigerator,  I had to modify the recipe a little and try it. The mussels took on the other flavors — it was the best. This is truly amazing. I know I say that a lot at the end of recipes, but it's true.

Note: Nutrition information does not include added salt.

Servings: 2


  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1/2 big jalapeno, seeded, and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh torn basil leaves (amount doesn't have to be exact)
  • Juice from one lime
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, saute the cauliflower, jalapeno, garlic, and shallot in the olive oil for about five minutes.  
  2. Season with salt and pepper.  
  3. Add the mussels and cover. Cook until the mussels open. Discard any that are tightly closed.  
  4. Stir in basil and lime juice.  
  5. Serve with a crusty whole grain bread.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 280
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 65 mg
  • Sodium: 700 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 21 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 31 g