Mussels Steamed Mussels with Orange, Fennel, and Garlic

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Steamed Mussels with Orange, Fennel, and Garlicyield: Serves 4 as an hors d'oeuvre
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.


1 navel orange
2 large garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 shallots, chopped fine (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup finely chopped fennel bulb (sometimes called anise)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pound mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards pulled off
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


With a vegetable peeler remove three 3-by-1/2-inch strips orange zest. Cut remaining peel and pith from orange with a sharp knife and discard. Cut out fruit sections from between membranes, discarding membranes, and finely chop enough fruit to measure 1/3 cup, reserving remaining fruit for another use.

In a large saucepan cook garlic paste, shallots, chopped fennel, and fennel seeds in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until chopped fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine and zest and boil 1 minute. Add broth and return to a boil. Add mussels and cook, covered with a tight-fitting lid, over high heat, checking them every minute, 3 to 8 minutes, transferring them as they open with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl. (Discard any mussels that are unopened after 8 minutes.)

Stir into broth chopped orange, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and spoon over mussels.

Pair with a California Sauvignon Blanc, such as Everett Ridge Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Source: "Steamed Mussels with Orange, Fennel, and Garlic" from Gourmet | July 1996
on line at accessed August 25, 2012
Photo from Christopher Ranch