Steamed Mussels with Tarragon


One of the first recipes that star chef Tom Colicchio learned to cook, when he was about 13, was a version of these steamed mussels, packed with tomatoes and fresh tarragon. Slideshow: Recipes for Mussels 

Steamed Mussels with Tarragon
Photo: © Michael Turek
Total Time:
45 mins
8 to 10


  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 4 pounds mussels, rinsed and debearded

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon, plus leaves for garnish

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan of boiling water, blanch the tomatoes until the skins just start to wrinkle, about 45 seconds. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel the tomatoes and coarsely chop them.

  2. In the large saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, 4 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then stir in the mussels. Cover and steam until they just start to open. Stir in the tomatoes, cover and cook, shaking the pan, until the mussels are open, 3 to 5 minutes longer; discard any that don’t open. Stir in the vinegar, sambal oelek and chopped tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Pile the mussels and tomatoes in a large serving bowl and pour in the juices from the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with tarragon leaves and serve with crusty bread.

Suggested Pairing

Minerally Sauvignon Blanc is a nice accompaniment to these vibrant mussels.

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