Mussels with white wine recipe

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Mussels with White Wine is my favorite meal to serve to guests. Other than some chopping, there’s nothing to it; the ingredients are inexpensive, and the results are sublime. A piled-high bowl of mussels in a luscious, flavorful broth is a thing of beauty. Serve with a large slice of garlicky toasted bread or a heaping pile of salty French fries.

  • Yield: 4 Servings as an entree

Ingredients

Aioli
  • 3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed to paste
  • ¼ cup finely minced fresh tarragon
  • Salt
Mussels
  • 4 pounds mussels
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped (reserve the fronds for garnish)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • Toasted bread or French fries, for serving
How to Make It
  1. To make the aioli, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and tarragon in a small bowl and mix well. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
  2. Rinse the mussels well under cold water. Pick them over, pulling off any beards and discarding any that are cracked.
  3. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, celery, and fennel, and cook until soft but not colored, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels, wine, and tarragon. Immediately cover the pan and increase the heat to high. Cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice.
  5. Remove the lid, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and stir. Cover and cook for 3 minutes longer, again shaking the pan once or twice.
  6. To serve, divide the mussels and broth among warmed bowls. Garnish with aioli and chopped fennel fronds. Serve with toasted bread or French fries to sop up the broth.
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