I am longing to be back at the seaside. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Germany, but I grew up always in sight of the sea and it is the ocean that I miss more than anything. Whenever I am at the seaside I make the most of it by eating as much fresh seafood as possible, soaking up all those deliciously fresh flavours, and today I’m cooking an old favourite, Garlic Butter Mussels.
Mussels au Gratin or Cozze al Forno as they are known in Italy, are so simple to prepare and packed with big flavour. Mussels are gently steamed open in white wine, then topped with breadcrumbs loaded up with Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon and fresh parsley. I am drooling just thinking about it!
These mussels make an excellent starter or appetiser for a party, or a romantic meal for two. I like to serve them with some crusty fresh baguette and some garlicky aïoli for dipping and a glass of crisp white wine, preferably sitting at a table looking down on the Mediterranean! Well, I can dream anyway.
What’s your favourite seafood dish? Does it have a special memory attached? Let me know in the comments below. xJ
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
Garlic Butter Mussels au Gratin
Mussel au gratin or as the Italians call them Cozze al Forno are a fantastic starter or light meal for two. So quick and easy to prepare they are packed with Mediterranean flavour.
- 1kg fresh mussels, cleaned
- 125ml white wine
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 red chilli, finely diced
- 1 lemon, in wedges
- fresh parsley
- Heat the oven to 230°C 450°F / Gas 8. Place the mussels in a deep saucepan with the white wine, discarding any that will not close. Cover, bring to the boil and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking gently from time to time until all the mussels have opened. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, lemon zest and butter. Season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
- When the mussels have opened, pick them out of the pot, discarding any that have not opened. Remove the top shell and place each on a large baking tray.
- Spoon over enough of the breadcrumb mixture to cover each mussel then transfer to the oven for 6-7 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges, fresh parsley and baguette.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1053Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 2505mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 99g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn't always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make mussels au gratin in advance?
They are best made on the day, though you can steam the mussels 24 hours in advance and keep chilled.
Can I double the recipe to feed more people?
Absolutely! Double all ingredients.
Do I have to use wine in this recipe? I don’t drink alcohol!
No, you can replace it with water or orange juice. I would add a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar to the water to replace the acidity of the wine.