I love, love, love mussels. I had them for the first time maybe 5 years ago and I've had them at least once every few months since then. They can be made in so many different ways with minimal ingredients (here is another version I made a few years ago), and can produce a good dinner or large appetizer in a matter of about ten minutes. That is my kind of recipe these days...

This particular recipe is from Sweet Paul's cookbook, Eat & Make. I swear that is a good cookbook. So many easy and delicious recipes... I was intrigued by this particular recipe because it included fennel. I have shied away from cooking with fennel before because of its so-called licorice flavor (when raw). However, when the fennel is cooked, it produces this sweet, very mild onion flavor that perfectly flavors the broth that this dish creates. I like my broth to be spicy, so I added some red pepper flakes to liven it up. The only other thing that makes this dish perfection are a few slices of toasted, buttered, quality, fresh bread from a bakery. The toasted bread explodes with flavor once it is dipped in the broth. Pure heaven in my book...

Here is what you need and what to do: (serves 4)

4 lbs mussels
2 tablespoons butter
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Add the mussels to a colander. Scrub and rinse the mussels. Discard any mussels that are broken or open and won't close when you press it together.

2. Melt the butter in a large pot or 10 in skillet with high sides set over medium-high heat. Then add the shallots, garlic, fennel, and red pepper flakes. Saute them until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the mussels and wine to the pot. Stir to combine them with the other ingredients and cover. Cook until all of the mussels are open - about 5-7 minutes. Discard any mussels that don't open. Stir in the parsley.

4. Pour the mussels into a serving dish. Serve immediately with a side of toasted, buttered bread.


Images by me

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  1. Basically everything you said about trying new mussels only recently and the fennel sounding amazing is exactly me! This looks outstanding. And maybe minimizing my hesitancy about doing mussels at home!! Beautiful!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  2. My husband loves to cook mussels once in awhile so I must show him this. Seafood is definitely a favourite of mine.

  3. This looks incredible delicious! You always have the best recipes!


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