Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

Grilled Mussels with Tomatoes, Garlic and Parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons butter, cut in bits

1 1/2 cups parsley, chopped

4 pounds mussels

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1. Preheat the grill for direct heat cooking.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it just begins to turn golden, about 45 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the butter and cook until it is just melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

3. Place the mussels directly on the grill and cook until they open, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

4. Toss the mussels with the tomato-parsley mixture and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 268 calories, 120 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 16 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 520 mg sodium

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Mussels Fra Diavolo

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

6 garlic cloves, minced

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1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup white wine

4 pounds mussels

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1/4 cup parsley

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until somewhat softened. Stir in the oregano, crushed red pepper, tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil.

2. Add mussels, cover and cook, stirring every minute or so, until the mussels have opened, about 4-5 minutes. (Discard any that do not open.) Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 240 calories, 20 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 665 mg sodium

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Coconut Curry Mussels

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 cup light coconut milk

1/2 cup white wine

4 pounds mussels

1/2 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Stir in the curry paste and cook until it is evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, coconut milk and wine; bring to a boil and stir in the mussels.

2. Cover and cook, stirring every one minute or so, until the mussels open, about 4-5 minutes. (Discard any that do not open.) Stir in the basil and lime juice; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 280 calories, 19 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 508 mg sodium

TIP: Uncooked mussels should close when the shell is tapped; cooked mussels must open to be edible.