Mussels with Caramelized Fennel and Leeks

A simple mussel broth, caramelized vegetables and a dollop of crème fraîche all pump up the flavor of these steamed mussels.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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mussel broth
  • 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 tarragon sprigs
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup Pernod
caramelized fennel and leeks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 leeks, light green and white parts only, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/4 cup Pernod
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • Kosher salt
  • Small tarragon leaves, for garnish
  • Toasted or grilled baguettes, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the mussel broth

    Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Strain the broth and reserve the mussels.

  2. Make the caramelized fennel and leeks

    In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the fennel and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 15 minutes. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and
    the fennel is lightly caramelized, about 8 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

  3. Prepare the mussels

    In a pot, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add the mussels and Pernod and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mussel broth and the fennel mixture. Cover and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a large bowl as they open.

  4. Prepare the mussels

    Bring the broth to a simmer. Whisk in the crème fraîche and season with salt. Add all of the mussels and cook until hot. Transfer the mussels and broth to bowls; garnish with tarragon. Serve with toasted baguettes.

Make Ahead

The caramelized fennel mixture can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

These mussels are surprisingly rich. Serve them with a full-bodied Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published April 2015

1029895 recipes/mussels-caramelized-fennel-and-leeks 2015-03-16T23:15:29+00:00 Shane McBride, Daniel Parilla french|soups-and-stews|6|make-ahead|staff-favorite|weeknight-dinner april-2015 recipes,mussels-caramelized-fennel-and-leeks 1029895

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