• 2.5 kg mussels
  • 150 ml double or regular cream
  • 1 tblsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tblsp chopped chives
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp chopped fennel (the herb, not the bulb)


  • You will ned to scrub the mussels very well, discarding any that are open and don’t close when tapped against a hard surface. Remove the beard – the little fibrous tuft from each mussel.
  • Pour the cream into a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Stir in the herbs and add the mussels.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and continue to cook on a medium heat for about 5 – 8 minutes or until all the mussels are completely open (discard any that remain closed).
  • Scoop the mussels out into one large or four individual serving bowls and ladle the creamy juices over. Place another bowl on the table for the empty shells, some finger bowls and lots of napkins.
  • Serve with plenty of crusty bread.


This recipe and many more are available in Rachel's new book, 'Rachel Allen: Home Cooking', published by Harper Collins.