Mussels are my typical go-to, quick, one-pot meal as they can be on the table in 15 minutes flat and need only a side of crusty bread to make a meal. But should I not have crusty bread on hand, I do always have rice, so pilaf it is!

Serves 2

1 cup long-grain rice

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1/4 cup chopped fennel

1/4 cup orzo

1/2 cup white wine

11/2 cups water or chicken or vegetable stock

1 pound Maine mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Rinse the rice in cold running water. Set aside. Warm the butter and olive oil in a large deep skillet with a lid. Add the shallots and fennel and cook for 2 minutes. Add the orzo and cook for 1 minute, until it starts to turn golden-brown. Add the rinsed rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add water or stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the rice is softened but still has a bite of a bite, 12-15 minutes. Scatter the mussels over the rice, put the lid on the pan and simmer until mussels have opened, 4-5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Fold herbs into the rice and mussels before serving the dish hot.

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