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Baked Mussels with Pesto Breadcrumbs

Howard L. Puckett
Yield Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings


  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce
  • Kosher salt

How to Make It

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add wine and mussels; cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels, and reserve cooking liquid.

  2. Allow mussels to stand until cool enough to handle. Open mussels, and discard top shells. Detach meat, and return to bottom half.

  3. Combine breadcrumbs and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; mix well.

  4. Pour 1/2 inch kosher salt into a large baking pan. Place mussels on top of salt in baking pan. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of reserved cooking liquid over each mussel. Top with heaping teaspoon of breadcrumb mixture.

  5. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 3 minutes or until breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

  6. Pour: Martinelli Gewürztraminer, Russian River Valley ($20). A delicious wine with subtle hints of lychees and spice brings out this dish's rich, bold flavors.