Dinner tonight: Steamed mussels

One of my favorite summer-to-fall dishes, an easy weeknight dinner, is steamed mussels. It’s like having soup and being at the beach all at once.

Plus, my kids love these. We ordered linguine with clams over the summer in Italy and we couldn’t stop them from stealing all of the shellfish. I once learned from Martha Stewart (of all people!) that you can use one mussel shell like a pincher to pinch out the meat from the other shells and you can imagine that the think that’s pretty fun, too!

This is the most basic preparation—and perhaps my favorite. But you’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to adding flavor. Use thai herbs and coconut milk, or tomatoes and spice, or simmer in stout…

2 cups dry white wine
4 large shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 pounds live mussels (or a mix of mussels and clams, as I have here)
1/3 cup fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chopped (Fennel or basil would also be delicious.)
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Note: Be sure to buy live mussels. Any open mussels that do not close when you press their shells a few times are dead, and you should discard them.


Rinse mussels under cold running water.

In a large stockpot set over medium heat, combine wine, shallots, garlic, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes. Add mussels.

Cover, and increase heat to high. Cook until all mussels are open, about 5 minutes. Stir in herbs and butter. Remove from heat. Add more salt and pepper to taste, zest with lemon, or garnish with more fresh herbs to get the broth just as you like it.

Enjoy immediately!

P.S. Sticky buns with beets and cardamom, the perfect host gift, and how to host a friendsgiving this year.

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category