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Mussel Stew

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 1 hr, 10 mins

Makes 4 servings

Serve stew with a crusty baguette for a satisfying off-the-coast dinner.


  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 lemon, halved horizontally
  • 3 whole cloves, pressed into lemon halves
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound butternut squash, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Baguette

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut top of garlic bulb off just to expose cloves, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil; roast 1 hour and 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Squeeze garlic cloves out of bulb; discard papery skin.

  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over high heat; add ginger and clove-spiked lemon to pan. Add fennel wedges, onion, and squash. Cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes or until vegetables are caramelized. Stir in roasted garlic cloves, wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and red pepper. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add mussels to pan; cover and steam 6 minutes or until mussels open. (Discard any that do not.)

  3. Remove ginger and lemon from pan. Stir in fennel fronds, parsley, and lemon juice. Serve stew with a crusty baguette.