This dish certainly isn’t slow in the traditional sense if you prepare it the way they do in Thrace— quickly in a skillet with hot peppers, garlic, and butter. It is this last ingredient that “only a wacky Thracian” would add. And it is possible to take a slow approach with excellent results.
In this adapted recipe, a variation on the famous Macedonian mussels saganaki, the mussels are partially prepared in the morning not merely to remove the sand, shells, and beards but also to infuse the mussels with a Thracian herb and spice mixture. When it’s time to serve, simply reheat the mussels and mount their juices with butter.
Try to serve with glasses of ouzo and thin slices of toasted baguette sticking out of the broth, useful for soaking up the spicy juices.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.