Provençal Style Mussels

The flavors of garlic, fennel, and rosemary complement fresh mussels and invoke sunny summer days in southern France.


Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine (Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 4 pounds mussels, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Fennel pollen (optional)
  • Crusty bread for serving


  1. Step One

    Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot. Add the shallots and fennel and cook until shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and fennel seed and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Stir in the mussels, cover, and cook until mussels have opened about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mussels to a deep serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Discard any mussels that do not open.

  2. Step Two

    Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer and taste for seasoning. Pour over the mussels, and garnish with the chopped fronds and fennel pollen if using. Serve with the bread.

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