Make a delicious and easy starter that will impress all.


  • 2 kg cleaned mussels
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 3 shallots (or half a medium onion, finely chopped)
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • small bunch of parsley stalks
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tblsp chopped fresh parsley


  • Heat the butter and oil together in a large frying pan or saucepan.
  • Add the garlic and shallots or onion and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  • Pour in the wine and bring to the boil.
  • Add the herbs, seasoning and mussels, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan and tossing it with an up-and-down motion so that the mussels cook evenly.
  • The shells should all be open now, so throw out any that aren't!
  • Remove the mussels with a large, flat slotted spoon and put them into a warmed deep dish.
  • Cover the dish and keep the mussels warm.
  • Strain the cooking liquid through a sieve, rinse the pan, return the liquid to it, bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Pour over the mussels and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
  • Serve in warm soup bowls, with chunks of wholemeal bread and butter.
  • Variations: for a richer dish the cooking liquid can be reduced by boiling over a high heat for 10 minutes, then 6 tablespoons of cream and lemon juice to taste stirred in, before pouring over the mussels.

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entertaining light meals and snacks starters and nibbles