Steamed Mussels in White Wine & Fennel
Inspired by Chef Calvin Burt at Shipwright’s Café in PEI, and Chef Michael Smith’s "non-recipe in The Best of Chef at Home and The Provencal Cookbook.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
2 lb/1.5 kg mussels (PEI or NS are my favorites)
1 ½ tbsp butter
1 tsp fennel seeds, cracked
3 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup fennel root, chopped
1/3 cup fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Fresh pepper to taste
1. Clean the mussels under cold running water, discarding any that do not close when tapped. Pull off any beards.
2. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat and add the chopped shallots, garlic and fennel root and seeds. Sauté until the vegetables start to soften, but never browning (about 5 minutes). Add the white wine and mustard and bring to a simmer.
3. Add the mussels, toss about and cover the pot. Cook until mussels open (about 7-10 minutes depending on their size).
3. Transfer to a large serving bowl, discarding any unopened mussels and sprinkle with the parsley.
Some serve it over couscous, rice or pasta, but I like them straight…with a spoon or some crusty bread to sop up all that awesome broth.