Classic French Mussels

19 May


I grew up right on the beach. To my friends who grew up in a city or in the plains of the Midwest, it sounds strange that my sisters and I used to collect mussels and my mom would steam them for dinner.

When my youngest sister told me she made this recipe, I was impressed. She insisted it was easy and she was right. The end result seems very fancy and exotic, and yet it’s so easy to put together. Despite some flavors I may not have liked when I was little, it brings me back to summers on the beach.

If you’ve never cooked mussels, this is a great starter recipe and the flavors are really delicious. Serve with crusty bread for dipping!

Classic French Mussels
recipe courtesy of The Food Network (and thanks A for sharing!)


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I only used about 1/4 cup. I used fat-free half & half once and light cream once. Both worked.)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I omitted)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Crusty bread, to serve


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, wine, cream, butter, and parsley and season well with salt. Give it a good stir, cover the pot, and cook until mussels open and are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Divide the mussels and the juices between 2 bowls and serve with the crusty bread.


3 Responses to “Classic French Mussels”

  1. Molly Jean May 19, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    Oh la la! I love mussels but had no idea how easy they could be. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. Joelen May 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Whenever I go to a French bistro, I almost always order this dish – looks fantastic!

  3. Meredith Joss July 20, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Rach and Dan,

    I loved the article in the Times and have sent it on to Lindsay and Sarah. I am going to try some of your recipes!

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