This style of mussels is so delicious. Most importantly, the broth that rests in the bottom of the bowl is heavenly. This is my recipe for Mussels With Basil–Garlic Breadcrumbs.
Having the toasted flavored bread crumbs nestled inside the shells gives great texture to the mussels. The fresh herbs and garlic add extra flavor. It’s so simple to make. Let me show you.
This is the point where you would add the red pepper flakes. I like a little heat but not too much.
Time for Mussels: 30 to 40 minutes (includes filtering the sand out in the sink)
Prep Time For Bread Crumbs: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Bread Crumbs: 5 to 7 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, spider, mini food processor, large mixing bowl, Microplane, chef’s knife
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3 pounds of mussels, cleaned
1 bottle of Chardonnay
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1 stick of melted butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup of pinenuts, toasted
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought 3 pounds of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. After going through all of them, you may find ones that are open or cracked. This means they are no longer alive and are no good.
If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.
Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.
Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.
Next, I fill up my sink with water adding 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I divide the mussels into three large Tupperware containers. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.
In a large preheated stockpot over medium-high heat add the cleaned mussels. Pour in a whole bottle of white wine. Place the lid on and let the mussels steam. Once all the mussels have opened, they’re done. If you see any mussels that have not opened discard them. I like to stir the mussels once through the steaming process so they can all drink up some of the wine. This whole process happens really quickly.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat add butter. Allow the butter to melt then add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Pernod. To the melted butter add Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Using a spatula, toss to coat. Folding the bread crumbs continuously, until the breadcrumbs have absorbed the flavored butter and have toasted up nicely 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
Directions For Toasted Pinenuts:
In a large sautè pan, over medium heat, add the pinenuts. Swishing the pan around occasionally, toast the nuts until they become fragrent and light golden brown in color. Turn the heat off immediately. Transfer the pinenuts to a bowl.
In a food processor, add the garlic cloves, pulse until minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Next, to the food processor add the Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil leaves. Pulse them a few times just until finely chopped but not minced. Transfer to the bowl containing the garlic, mix to combine. Add the pine nuts, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, again stir to combine. Finally, add the toasted breadcrumb mixture, stir to combine.
To serve, ladle the mussels into a serving bowl. Finish by generously sprinkling the toasted basil-garlic breadcrumbs over the top. There you have it, my Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs.
*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They’re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.