Thomas J. Story
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 12 (serving size: 4 mussels)

Baked in the half-shell until sizzling, these buttery, crumb-topped mussels are irresistible. Portland chefs Jaret Foster and Mona Johnson created them for their Portland catering company, Tournant. They serve them on a bed of whole hazelnuts or rock salt, and suggest you get the biggest, fattest mussels you can find, because they’ll shrink as they cook.

How to Make It

Step 1

Make hazelnut herb butter: Pulse nuts in a food processor until very finely chopped, then pour into a bowl. Whirl shallots and herbs until finely chopped. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest, and butter; whirl to mix. Scrape into a bowl and stir in nuts.

Step 2

Pour beer into a wide 6-qt. pot and add mussels. Bring to a boil over high heat, covered; then reduce heat to medium and simmer just until mussels open, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Uncover and remove pot from heat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with slightly crumpled foil.

Step 3

When mussels are cool enough to handle, discard any that haven’t opened. For opened mussels, discard one side of each shell and loosen mussels using a butter knife or an oyster knife.

Step 4

Set mussels on foil, pushing them into foil a little to keep them from tipping (it’s okay if they’re crowded). Top each with a small dollop of hazelnut herb butter.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 450°. Sprinkle each mussel with about 1/2 tsp. bread crumbs, plus salt and pepper. Bake mussels until bubbling, crisp, and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a serving platter with whole hazelnuts or rock salt.

Step 6

Using tongs, arrange mussels on platter and serve.

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