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Mussels in White Wine and Garlic


Be sure to buy live mussels. Any open mussels that do not close when you press their shells a few times are dead, and you should discard them.

Photography: Gentl & Hyers

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2001


  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 pounds live mussels
  • 1/3 cup mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chervil, or basil, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


  1. Rinse and scrub mussels under cold running water. Using your fingers or a paring knife, remove beards (strings that hang from the mussels' shells), and discard.

  2. In a large stockpot set over medium heat, combine wine, shallots, garlic, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes. Add mussels.

  3. Cover, and increase heat to high. Cook until all mussels are open, about 5 minutes. Stir in herbs and butter. Remove from heat. Divide mussels and broth among four bowls. Serve immediately.

Reviews Add a comment

  • suerabymailina
    8 JAN, 2016
    Really good, the timings were spot on and the mussels came out tender and tasty. I used parsley for the fresh herb, and added a squeeze of lemon with the butter at the end. Served with garlic baguette to mop up the broth and a tomato and rocket (arugula) salad with a lemon and parsley dressing. Very well received in our house!
  • MS11712258
    8 SEP, 2015
    I love mussels and the recipe. I have another variant with a secret moroccan touch
  • SPIChef
    14 APR, 2013
    Easy, delicious and was a big hit with my friends. Make it!
  • guitar4me86398
    17 MAY, 2011
    This is such a great recipe... showcases the mussels, no work at all, simple and elegant. I like to add some shaved fennel bulb. Yum!
  • aubs1701
    26 APR, 2011
    This was wonderful! I also added crushed tomotoes and it was a great main dish for a dinner party we had for my mom's birthday. Have plenty of crusty bread on hand, because the juices are amazing to dip it in! Big hit! Even my 3 year old was eating it:) I will make it again.
  • amyngibson
    17 MAY, 2009
    This is such an effortless awesome dish! I serve it with angel hair spahgetti noodles drizzled with olive oil and some parmaggino reggiano and a salad of baby spinach, hearts of romaine, pear and gorgonzola with raspberry vinegrette.
  • kimwylie0523
    5 APR, 2008
    REALLY good! Great recipe! I served them with linguini and sauteed bay scallops. Yum!
  • pinkcoco
    16 FEB, 2008
    i have always loved mussels no matter how they are cooked but this recipe made me loved them more. Great for eating while watching tv!