Lemon-Fennel Mussels

Photo: Johnny Miller
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

Serve the mussels with a grilled baguette for sopping up the broth. This dish is excellent right off the stove or at room temperature.


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots, (from 2 medium shallots)

  • 1 very large or 2 small heads fennel, sliced ⅛ inch thick using a mandoline (about 2 cups)

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus 3 tablespoons finely chooped stems


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid over medium heat. When hot, add shallots; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in fennel and 1 teaspoon salt. Season generously with pepper. Saute fennel until it begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Raise heat, and add lemon juice and wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by a quarter, about 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in mussels, and cover. Cook mussels until they just open, stirring halfway through to move the ones at the bottom to the top, 4 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven't opened after 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. If serving immediately, stir in parsley; if serving at room temperature, let cool slightly before adding parsley.

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