About your Fisherman: Morgan Castagnola
Watch this great 4-minute film about Bernard's operation, created by the Santa Barbara Fish Market.
Bernard has been very successful with his shellfish farm, and has working to expand its size. After a 4 year process of getting approvals from a long list of State agencies, he has gotten the green light!
Bernard has been studying and growing mussels for over 15 years. He has made trips to Nicaragua to teach oyster farming and restoration to indigenous women of El Ostional. He has a B.A. in Biology from UC Santa Cruz, an A.S. in Commercial diving technologies from Santa Barbara City College, and a M.Sc. in Fisheries Management, Development, and Conservation from the University of Ireland. Bernard also serves on the board of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara. You can find Bernard’s shellfish at the Saturday Farmer’s Market, the Santa Barbara Fish Market, and many restaurants throughout the region.
How to Store and Prep Mussels:
Your mussels will be delivered live. Mussels are intertidal species, meaning they can live happily many hours out of water if they stay cool, have air flow and don’t touch fresh water. Keep the bag in your fridge, open wide. Or better yet, transfer them to a bowl and cover with a damp but not dripping towel, stored in the fridge. When you are ready to use them, rinse them briefly in fresh water and discard any dead mussels – dead mussels will be stuck in an open position. Prep your mussels before cooking by pulling off the ‘beard’ – the threads they use to attach themselves to rocks and ropes - by pulling toward the hinge and away from the shell.
About the Fishery:
Bernard grows the Mediterranean Mussel, a species that has been abundant along the west coast for over a century after it was introduced by Europeans. The mussels are grown along vertical ropes anchored to the seafloor. They feed themselves from the plankton drifting by. Open-ocean mussel farming has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any food you could eat – it has minimal impact on habitat or foodwebs, uses no freshwater, fertilizer, pesticide or antibiotics, and being transported just a few miles from the harbor, our mussels have a tiny carbon footprint. By one estimate, the entire world’s protein needs could be met by mussel farming an area of the ocean smaller than the State waters of California!
RecipesClassic French Preparation - As always, the French know how to do it right. This classic French recipe for mussels in white wine and butter will wow you and your dinnermates:
- add 2 tbsp butter to a sauté pan,
- add ½ c chopped shallots and 4 minced garlic cloves; stir 2-3 minutes.
- Add ¾ c diced tomatoes, stir 2 minutes.
- Add ½ c dry white wine, zest of one lemon and 1 tbsp lemon juice, stir.
- Add the mussels and cover for 3 minutes to steam. Stir and cover again for 2-3 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Also enjoyed best with a crusty French baguette.
Bravas Sauce (Dairy Free)
- 6oz Can tomato paste
- 175g shallot
- 5g smoked paprika
- 25g garlic
- 30ml molasses
- 30ml red wine vinegar
- 125g oil
- 2 Dry New Mexican Chilis
- 2 Dry Guajillo Chilis
- 2 Dry Pasilla Chilis
Directions: caramelize the garlic, & shallot in oil. Add the chilis chopped with the dry seasonings & toast. Add the tomato paste & Red Wine Vinegar & Molasses and cook for a few minutes to warm up the tomato paste and get the liquid moving. Blend until smooth adjusting the consistency with water. Season with salt to taste.
Mussels & Potatoes
- 5lb mussels steamed in white wine
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 bunch dill
- 1/2 bunch chives
- 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
Directions: Small - Medium dice the potatoes, coat with oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast at 350 until just tender (about 30 minutes). Let cool. Remove the meat from the mussels after steaming and mix with the well chopped fine herbs.