Flex Your Mussels

A global approach to pot-roasted bivalves

Global food influences are nothing new for chef Jordan Toft, the executive chef at Eveleigh, a market-driven restaurant in Los Angeles where the dishes are influenced by European country cooking. Starting at age 16, Toft cooked his way around the world, from Sydney to France, Italy, Spain and, finally, Los Angeles. His recipe for pot-roasted mussels takes a similar worldly approach: The mussels begin in Italy, with olive oil and shallots, then veer straight into Spanish territory with the addition of a kicky aioli. Rather than adding any garlic at the beginning of the recipe, Toft adds the aioli at the end, bringing its sweet, pungent scent straight to the table.

Recipe adapted from Jordan Toft, Eveleigh, Los Angeles

Pot-Roasted Mussels
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These mussels begin in Italy, with olive oil and shallots, then veer straight into Spanish territory with the addition of a kicky aioli.
Servings
2
Servings
Ingredients
  • Aioli
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  
  • Mussels
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small shallots, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 pounds Prince Edward Island mussels, rinsed and debearded
  • 1 medium lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • Grilled bread, for serving
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 long, red chile, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons; seeds optional)
Directions
  1. Make the Aioli: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, mustard and the juice of the lemon. While whisking, add ½ cup of olive oil, a few drops at a time, until the liquid emulsifies. Slowly whisk in the remaining 2½ cups olive oil in a fine stream. Whisk in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place the 1 cup of olive oil and shallots in a large stockpot and turn the heat to high. When the shallots begin to sizzle (after about 4 to 5 minutes), stir in the mussels and the chile. Cut the lemon into 8 wedges, add them to the pot and stir them in. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and cook until the mussels have fully opened, shaking the pot a few times while cooking, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that don't open.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in ¾ cup of the parsley and a few large dollops of the aioli. Transfer the mussels to a warm bowl and top with more of the aioli. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper and the remaining parsley. Serve immediately with the grilled bread.
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