Mussel Beach

This Pernod-spiked classic belongs in your repertoire

Like a band's hit song performed during every concert, there are certain dishes that are always on a restaurant's menu. Case in point: Don Saunders' garlicky mussels at The Kenwood in Minneapolis. Shallots, white wine and cream are the base for steaming the mussels. Then a basil-garlic pistou (think pesto, minus the pine nuts and Parm) is swirled in at the end. Don't be tempted to skip the splash of Pernod, even if you're buying a bottle just for this recipe: The liqueur's smack of licorice is absolutely key.

Recipe adapted from Don Saunders, The Kenwood, Minneapolis, MN

Mussels In Pistou Broth
No Ratings
Mussels in Pistou Broth from The Kenwood, Minneapolis
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
6
servings
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 large shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded and well rinsed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon anise-flavored liqueur (preferably Pernod)
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Good bread for serving
Directions
  1. Make the pistou: To a food processor, add the garlic, basil, and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. To a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft but not colored, about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, white wine and cream. Cover the pot and cook the mussels until they begin to open, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pot and add the pistou, lemon juice, liqueur and salt, then stir to combine. Divide the mussels among 6 bowls and serve with bread on the side.
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