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Cast-Iron Mussels

Photo: Oxmoor House


Hands-on time 12 mins
Total time 12 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups)
Few things rival the culinary euphoria that is a perfectly steamed dish of mussels with crusty bread. Often, we see mussels dressed up (Thai-style, Belgian beer, white wine and garlic, marinara), but when super-fresh ones are available, leave them alone. This recipe calls for a little bit of water, plus some butter or olive oil. That's it.


  • 48 mussels fresh (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (about 8 slices)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh quick chiffonade flat-leaf parsley

Nutrition Information

  • calories 154
  • fat 8.5 g
  • satfat 4.2 g
  • monofat 2.1 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 14 g
  • carbohydrate 5 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 49 mg
  • iron 5 mg
  • sodium 634 mg
  • calcium 34 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven (must have the lid) to medium-high.

  2. When the pan is hot, add the mussels and cover.

  3. Steam, covered, for about 2 minutes before checking to see if the mussels have begun to open and release some of their liquid.

  4. Uncover and add the water if there is not sufficient liquid (enough to coat the bottom of the pan).

  5. Cover the pan, and cook until the mussels begin to open.

  6. Turn off the heat when the mussels have peeked open, and set the pan aside, covered, for 2 minutes, to gently finish the cooking.

  7. Add the butter, salt, and lemon, and gently fold the mussels in the cooking juices.

  8. Serve in 4 wide, shallow bowls, and garnish with fresh parsley.

  9. Break bread. Drink wine. Enjoy.

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