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Baked Mussels with Fennel

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst

Hands-on time 5 mins
Total time 20 mins

Makes 2 dozen


  • 24 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup finely diced shallots or onion
  • 2 teaspoons Pernod, ouzo, or other anise liqueur (optional)
  • 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher sea salt

How to Make It

  1. Combine mussels and 1/4 cup wine in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, covered, shaking pan gently, 3 to 5 minutes or until mussels open. (Discard any that do not.) Remove lid, and let cool.

    Preparing Mussels
  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add Pernod, if desired, and remaining 1/4 cup wine; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in breadcrumbs and next 3 ingredients.

  3. Preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Remove one half of each mussel shell, leaving meat in the remaining half. Set halves on a rimmed baking sheet covered with a layer of kosher sea salt, and top each with about 1 teaspoon fennel mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned.