Mussels with Fennel

There are thousands of Mussels recipes out there and when I was living in NYC, there was actually a restaurant called Flex Mussels that served like 25 different mussel dishes. They were all delicious, but my favorite version that always hits the spot is the classic white wine recipe. In my version, I like to add a little fennel, which is very popular in Italy. If you eat fennel raw it tastes just like licorice. Once it's cooked though, it just brings a very subtle and anise-like flavor profile to your dish that adds some brightness to your dish.


I like to buy my mussels already scrubbed and cleaned. If you don't, make sure you soak them for about 20 minutes in cold water and then scrub them and remove the 'beard'. Here's a video on how to do that.

The most important part of this dish is to have some good, crusty, garlic bread to pair with it. I really could just eat an entire loaf of bread dipped in this broth and forget about the mussels, anyone else?


1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small head fennel, diced small

1 lemon, zested

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound mussels

2 cups white wine

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

salt & pepper to taste

Grilled bread


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and fennel and cook until fragrant and it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.

  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon zest and cook for another minute.

  • Add mussels and stir until they are coated in oil. Add the wine and black pepper and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

  • Cook with the lid on for about 4 minutes, stirring the mussels half way through. If there are any mussels that don't open, throw them away

  • Stir in the butter, tarragon, parsley and season with salt

  • Serve with grilled bread

Need some more seafood inspo? Check out my other recipes:

red snapper

#seafood #mussels #broth