Thomas J. Story

YieldsServes 12 (serving size: 4 mussels)
AuthorJaret Foster and Mona Johnson

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
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
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
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
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
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
6

Using tongs, arrange mussels on platter and serve.

Ingredients

HAZELNUT HERB BUTTER
 1/4 cup skinned toasted hazelnuts*
 2 teaspoons minced shallot
 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
  About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
MUSSELS
 1 (12-oz.) bottle of beer, preferably saison or pilsner
  About 60 large, fresh mussels such as Saltspring Island, scrubbed*
 1/3 cup fresh sourdough bread crumbs* or panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  About 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions

Step 1
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
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
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
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
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
6

Using tongs, arrange mussels on platter and serve.

Mussels Baked with Hazelnut Herb Butter