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Chilled Mussels with Saffron Mayo

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total time 1 hr

Serves 10 (makes 60) (serving size: 6 mussels)

A spicy Provençal sauce called rouille inspired the mayo for this easy, elegant platter; you'll have enough extra for sandwiches.


  • 60 small to medium mussels (2 to 2 1/2 lbs.)
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/3 cup drained jarred roasted red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Rock salt (for serving)
  • 60 small flat-leaf parsley leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 108
  • caloriesfromfat 34 %
  • protein 12 g
  • fat 4.1 g
  • satfat 0.7 g
  • carbohydrate 5.4 g
  • fiber 0.1 g
  • sodium 317 mg
  • cholesterol 28 mg

How to Make It

  1. Scrub mussels, pull off any tough "beards" from sides of shells, and discard any mussels that aren't tightly closed. In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring wine and onion to a boil over high heat. Add mussels; cook, covered, until they open, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and let stand until cool enough to handle. Discard any closed mussels.

  2. Separate mussels from shells using a sharp knife. Set each mussel on a half-shell (choose flattish ones) and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover and chill.

  3. Toast saffron in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring, until slightly darker, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

  4. In a blender, whirl garlic, roasted pepper, saffron, cayenne, and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Add mayonnaise and whirl to blend. Scrape into a bowl.

  5. Pour salt onto 2 platters. Set mussels level on salt. Dollop mayo on each and top with a parsley leaf.

  6. Make ahead: Through step 4, up to 1 day, chilled airtight; through step 5, up to 3 more hours, chilled uncovered.