Why You Should Stop Steaming Your Mussels

By F&W Editors Posted January 16, 2016

Unlock the briny bivalves' potential by broiling, pickling and wrapping them in pancetta.

Steam some mussels in broth or wine, add some crusty bread and you have a perfect meal. But you also have a quotidian meal, and you've probably had it many times before. You can get more from these briny bivalves by broiling them under garlic-curry-bread-crumb butter, pickling them in pimentón-spiked vinegar and wrapping them in salty pancetta, to name just a few techniques. Here, seven clever new ways to cook mussels.

1. Pancetta-Wrapped Mussels with Basil

Food & Wine:

Crispy, briny and juicy, these ingenious mussels are a simple and unexpected dish, perfect for cocktail parties.

2. Pickled Mussels

Food & Wine: Pickled Mussels

© David Malosh

These bright and tangy mussels are delicious with crusty bread.

3. Mussels on the Half Shell with Curried Crumbs

Food & Wine:

This starter is inspired by mouclade, the classic Bordelais mussels in saffron or curry cream. Here, plump mussels are topped with garlic-curry-bread-crumb butter and broiled until sizzling.

4. Moules Farcies

Food & Wine:

These broiled mussels with a crispy bread crumb topping are perfect, fast hors d'oeuvres.

5. Warm Seafood Sandwiches

Food & Wine: Warm Seafood Sandwiches

© Luca Trovato

Don’t be afraid of this unusual sandwich stuffing. Chopped mussels, clams and squid are incredible spooned into a baguette with a spritz of lemon.

6. Mussel and Herb Salad with Croutons

Food & Wine:

Boiling mussels in clam juice makes them extra briny. They’re bursting with flavor in this healthy salad.

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