Mussels with Red Wine and Roasted Garlic

Photo: John Kernick

Mussels take on a lusty new accent when steamed in fruity red wine infused with roasted garlic and thyme. A green salad and hunks of crusty bread complete this postcard from summer.


  • 1 head garlic

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 cups fruity red wine, such as Gamay or Barbera

  • Coarse salt

  • 4 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed thoroughly

  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On parchment-lined foil, drizzle garlic with oil; tightly seal. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Once cool, remove cloves from papery skin and set aside.

  2. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat; add thyme and roasted garlic cloves. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add wine and season with salt. Bring to a boil, add mussels, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered and undisturbed, until shells have opened, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Stir mussels and, with a slotted spoon, transfer to a warm serving bowl. (Discard unopened shells.) Return broth to a boil and reduce by half. Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter and parsley. Ladle sauce over mussels and serve immediately.

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