Italian Seafood Appetizer: Garlic Butter Mussels Gratin
These mussels are great to make when you want to pull out all the stops and blow your guests away! Perfect for any type of celebration, this dish looks good and tastes even better — and it’s not hard to make at all. Maybe avoid this dish if you really don’t like shellfish or seafood, but we think anything covered in a golden, buttery garlic sauce is pretty much the best. Feel free to serve this as an appetizer or a main course, either way people will be seriously impressed!
Appetizer: 4-6; Entree: 3-4
- 2 1/2 pounds mussels
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl of cold water (best if resting in the sink) scrub each mussel to remove dirt and particles. Discard any cracked mussels or ones that are already open. (Tap them with a knife to see if they close up. If not, throw away.)
- Swirl around in cold water to get rid of grit and sand.
- Preheat oven to 450º F and line up several baking trays.
- Heat oil in a deep pan on medium-high heat, add diced shallot and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. 4-5 minutes.
- Add white wine and cook until almost boiling. Carefully pour mussels into the pan, lower heat to medium, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mussels open, shaking pan occasionally.
- Remove mussels with a slotted spoon and reserve cooking juices. Discard any mussels that are not open.
- Prepare a sieve ahead of time and strain juices into a bowl, separating out the shallots and garlic. Return juices to pan and cook on high until sauce has reduced.
- Take the tops of your mussels and arrange them on your baking sheets.
- In a bowl, combine your bread crumbs, parsley, butter, lemon juice, sauce reduction and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Cover mussels with butter and sauce mixture and place in oven for 6-8 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
Recipe adapted from Delia Online