Vermouth Mussels


(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)


Serves 2 – 4


2 pounds mussels

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup minced shallots or minced white onion (I used shallots.)

½ cup dry white vermouth

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


1.   Clean the mussels. Put them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Let them sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Scrub each one under running water with a brush and remove any “beards”. Pull the beard towards the hinge to remove. (Deb says pulling in the other direction could prematurely kill the mussel. So pull toward the hinge.) Put the mussels in a large bowl or colander as you clean them.

2.   Quickly wash out the large pot and put it on the stove. Add the butter, shallots, and vermouth. Bring to a boil.

3.   Put the mussels in the pot. Cover and boil for about 3 minutes. Shake the pan a few times during this boil.

4.   Open the pot and use tongs to remove the mussels that are open. Put them in bowls. Continue to boil the mussels, removing them as they open.  (All but 4 of my mussels opened. Toss those that do not open.)

5.   Bring the broth to a full boil and boil for about 1 minute. Ladle the broth over the mussels, garnish with the tarragon and serve. (Ladle it instead of pouring just in case there is any sand on the bottom.)