Moules Marinieres (Sailor-Style Mussels)

Just as mussels cling to the rocks along the shore, they’re inseparable from the wonderful simplicity of garlic, butter and wine. With a garnish of scallions and parsley, as well as plenty of bread to soak up every last bit of goodness, you’ll make the most of your mollusks.
September 02, 2015


Heat 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add celery, onions and garlic. Stir well and sweat the vegetables until the onions are soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups white wine (or beer) and reduce by half (approximately 10 minutes). Add clam juice along with pepper and red chili flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

In a separate large sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add mussels and cover briefly to prevent oil from splattering, remove lid and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Add ½ cup wine (or beer) and diced red peppers. Reduce until a few tablespoons of liquid remain.

Add the prepared broth, and cover for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all mussels are open. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and chopped parsley and stir to incorporate.

Divide mussels and broth among 6 warm shallow bowls, garnish with scallions and serve with plenty of toasted bread for dipping.

* Note: If mussel shells are slightly open, simply tap or press on the shell—after about 5 seconds, the shell should close. If not, the mussel is dead so discard it.

WINE PAIRING: 2012 Karl Steininger Kamptal Reserve Gruner Veltliner

This wine is a beauty. It has a racy minerality that explodes in the mouth, yet at the same time is restrained and creeps in softly, not overpowering. Its flavors will marry with the varied ingredients in this take on the classic moules marinières—peppers, scallions, chili flakes. At the end of the palate the minerality turns into a roundness that gives off an almondy flavor.

—Jessica Norris Granatiero, The Savory Grape, East Greenwich

Recipe by Chef R. Robledo, Boat House Waterfront Dining, Tiverton


  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for bread
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups local white wine or Narragansett Beer, divided
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) bottled clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 6 pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded*
  • 1 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup thinly chopped fresh scallions (for garnish)
  • Fresh focaccia or baguette, sliced, brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted
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