AJ and I made a dish similar to this on our “babymoon” in Italy. Now, our kids love reaching their hands into the deep bowl filled with the fresh mussels and use coarse sea salt to help scrub off sand and organic matter. What a lark! The shells are shiny and gleaming after everyone has had a turn.
Mussels With Fennel and Cream
Recipe by Anna Rossi
Total Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup thinly sliced fennel, fronds reserved for garnish
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 pounds shell-on mussels, debearded, scrubbed with coarse salt, and rinsed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
Warm the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel and shallots and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Next add the mussels, white wine, cream, and butter. Cover the pot and steam until the mussel shells have popped open, about 15 minutes. Taste the cooking liquid, and add salt if necessary. Dish up the mussels and cooking liquid, top with the fennel fronds, and serve immediately.
Photo by Nicholas Gang