These mussels are great party food and can be served as a canapé or a starter.


  • 1kg mussels, prepared
  • A splash of dry white wine or water
  • 25g approx. bread crumbs

For the Pesto

  • A large bunch of basil leaves
  • 15g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 15g pine nuts
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • A little salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the mussels and wine into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil shaking the pan now and then for 3-4 minutes. Discard any that have not opened. Drain into a colander. When cool enough to handle remove one side of the shell.
  2. To make the pesto: Place the basil leaves, cheese, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender.  Turn on and gradually add the olive oil. Taste and season.
  3. Heat a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs. Allow to turn golden, stirring frequently. This will take just a couple of minutes.  
  4. Preheat the grill. Place the mussels onto a grill rack and spoon a little the pesto onto each mussel then sprinkle some bread crumbs on top. Grill for 2-3 minutes to warm the pesto and give the breadcrumbs an extra crunch.

Recipe courtesy of Bord Bia.