Mussels in Saffron and White Wine Broth

Keeping with the French bistro theme, I made mussels several weeks ago.  White wine, garlic and mussels….mmm…nothing is more delicious!  I decided to try this recipe because I was intrigued by the addition of saffron and a touch of half and half to a more traditional white wine base.  It was a delicious combo — definitely worthy of some crusty bread for dipping into the broth!

Below are some tips on how to prepare mussels…

  • Mussels must be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed several times before cooking.
  • Wild mussels will need to be scrubbed with a stiff brush to remove any barnacles, sand or grit and their beard must also be removed. This can be done by giving the beard a forceful tug with your fingers and pulling it away or by cutting it off with a small and sharp knife.
  • Rinse the wild mussels several times but do not let them sit in water, as freshwater will kill them.
  • Farmed mussels will have already been prepared for cooking and it will suffice to just give them a quick rinse under a running tap of cold water.

Mussels are super quick and easy to make and are always a crowd pleaser!

Mussels in Saffron & White Wine Broth
The Culinary Institute of America

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons saffron threads
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chives, chopped

Melt the butter in a large pot, then add the garlic. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, half and half, and saffron; simmer for 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, scallions, tomato, and lemon juice, scallions, tomato, and lemon juice; simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the mussels, cover, and stream until they are open, about 5-7 minutes. Shake the pot, holding down the lid with a kitchen towel, to redistribute the mussels. Discard any mussels that do not open. Divide the mussels into eight bowls; distribute the broth equally among the bowls, and top each with fresh chives.

1 thought on “Mussels in Saffron and White Wine Broth”

  • Hi Jessica,
    Sounds like a great recipe. Simple, pure ingredients–my mouth is watering as the thought of soaking up the broth with some crusty French or Italian bread…..Yum!!! You are still putting the “gourmet” in weeknight….When things got hectic, I would just pop some mussels in a prepared marinara sauce and serve over pasta (maybe add some red pepper flakes) eh voila! Those were the days….

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