Here is the classic way to serve fresh mussels. Steam them in minced onions, parsley, and white wine just until they open, and serve them mounded in great bowls. Use a pair of the hinged shells to pluck out the mussel meat, and when all are eaten, drink the fragrant liquor.


  • 4 tbsps butter
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 1 large clove garlic, puréed (optional)
  • 1 handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 quarts mussels
  • 2 cups vermouth or dry white wine


1. Steaming the mussels: Melt the butter in the kettle, stir in the onions and optional garlic, and cook slowly for several minutes, until limp. Then add the parsley and the mussels, cover the kettle, and shake once to mix all the ingredients. Pour in the vermouth or wine and shake once again. Turn to high, cover tightly, and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes (without shaking again in case of sand), just until the mussels have opened.
2. Serving: Dip the mussels out, shells and all, into the soup bowls. Tip the kettle and ladle the fragrant cooking liquor into each serving, being careful not to include any sand at the bottom of the kettle.


Serve with french bread to sop up the liquor.
Various sources state that a quart of mussels weighs about 1-1/2 pounds.



MacGourmet downloadMussels Steamed in White Wine. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.


Julia Child


6 servings




European : Western : French