Whether you’re craving the classic steamed mussels from your fave French bistro or looking for another course to add to your upcoming Feast of the Seven Fishes, we’ve got just the dish for you! It’s time for another Seafood Supper Club Recipe… Mussels with White Wine Sauce. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to recreate this popular dish at home – and it really brings the wow factor!
Today we are demystifying mussels and walk you through all the steps – including removing the “beard” (sounds harder than it is!). So grab a clean hand towel and let’s get started.
Once the mussels are cleaned, we favor a minimalist approach to let their natural sweetness shine through. Our steamed mussels include wine, lemon, spices and a touch of olive oil and that’s all you need to bring out the best in these marvelous mollusks. Before you know it, they’re all done, ready to top your favorite pasta or be devoured as-is with some crusty bread. Serve with a crisp, green salad for a nicely balanced meal.
And since mussels are naturally low in calories and a great source of protein, iron and vitamin B-12, this is a nutritious dish (not to mention a tasty one!) you’ll want to regularly incorporate into your meal plan or entertaining menu. Bon appétit!
Mussels with White Wine Sauce
Prep time: 35 minutes (mostly unattended)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 cups white wine
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Crusty, whole-grain bread or baguette (optional)
- Lemon wedges (optional)
Mussel Cleaning Instructions
1. Mussels need to breathe. After bringing them home from the store, immediately unwrap mussels and inspect them. Discard any mussel that is chipped, broken or damaged. Also, discard any opened mussels that don’t tightly close when you tap them. Place mussels in a bowl covered with a damp towel in the fridge.
2. Just before cooking, soak mussels in fresh water for about 20 minutes to let them expel sand.
3. Most mussels have what is commonly called a “beard” made of fibers that emerge from the mussel’s shell. To remove it, hold the mussel in one hand and grasp the beard with the other. Give the beard a sharp yank toward the hinge end of the mussel. (Don’t pull toward the opening end of the mussel, or you could tear and kill the mussel.) Discard the beards.
4. By hand, transfer the mussels from the water into a fresh bowl of clean, cold water. (Don’t use a strainer, or you’ll end up pouring the filtered sand back on top of the mussels.)
5. Use a firm brush to brush off any additional sand, barnacles or other oceanic attachments. Rinse the mussels under cool tap water and set aside. Dry with a towel before cooking.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and garlic; cook for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add clean mussels, lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine, red pepper flakes and basil.
- Cover and simmer over medium heat until mussels are steamed open, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cook time depends on how long it takes the mussels to open—it might take less time, based on stovetop performance.
- Remove pot from heat and discard unopened mussels. Serve with crusty bread and lemon wedges.
For more recipe inspiration, download our free e-cookbook, Everyday Seafood Recipes.