Photography and text by Jenny Shea Rawn MS, MPH, RD
This stunning dish is a celebration of fresh herbs and mussels. Don’t let the herb oil intimidate you. It’s a very simple blend of herbs with extra virgin olive oil, and it’s a fragrant and velvety addition to the mussels.
A loaf of crusty bread is a must for dipping.
4 as an appetizer,
2 as a main dish
For the fresh herb oil
Add basil, parsley, dill, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt into a food processor. Pulse until blended and smooth.
For the mussels
1 » Put the mussels in a colander and rinse them in cold water. Inspect well. Discard any mussels with broken shells. If any mussels are open, gently tap them on the counter. If they close, they are fine to eat. If they remain open, discard. If you see any beard (the green or black strings), gently tug it off.
2 » Add butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to a large, wide pot over medium heat. (I use an 11-inch pot.) Add in minced garlic and the white and light green parts of the sliced scallions and cook until they are softened and fragrant, stirring frequently.
3 » Add the mussels into the pot gently. Pour the wine over the mussels and give them a gentle stir, coating the mussels. Place the lid on and increase the heat to high. Steam will begin pouring out between the pot and lid. After about two minutes, give the mussels a gentle stir – this will ensure they are cooking evenly. Using tongs, remove any mussels that have opened and place in the serving bowl. Put the lid back on and continue cooking for a few more minutes until most or all of the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. (Like my husband says, when in doubt, throw it out.)
4 » Place mussels into serving bowls. Pour the broth over the mussels. Drizzle mussels with the herb oil and sprinkle with the green parts of the scallions. Serve with lemon wedges and toasted baguette slices.
Place a large bowl on the table for empty shells.
Use a wine that you want to drink for this dish. If you’re going to open a bottle, you might as well use one that you like.
If you’d prefer to not make the herb oil, just finely chop the herbs then toss with the mussels after you’ve removed them from the heat.
Mussels are nutrient-rich little beauties. They’re packed with satisfying protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.
Mussels are filter feeders. They remove excess nutrients and phytoplankton from the water which improves water quality.