Mussels Ragout

½ lb mussels meat, thawed if frozen

½ cup olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup each of diced and cooked carrots, potatoes and celery root

½ cup chopped parsley and fresh thyme

½ cup tomato sauce

1 tbs lemon juice

1 cup water salt and red pepper flakes

• On medium heat sauté onions and garlic in oil until translucent.

• Add root vegetables, parsley, thyme, tomato sauce, lemon juice and water. Season to taste.

• Simmer with cover on for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

• Turn heat off and mix in mussels. Sprinkle with additional parsley.

• Cover and let it cool.

Serves six.

It makes a satisfying first course, served with peasant bread and white wine. I particularly like to drink a Greek retsina, such as Kourtaki -- admittedly an acquired taste.