At our last Gentlemen’s Dining Club we focused on the South of France and created a dish inspired by Julia Child, a former Santa Barbara resident. Moules en Provence.
At today’s Farmer’s Market in Santa Barbara there were fresh mussels from Hope Ranch which inspired me to make the dish again as it was extremely tasty the first time. I also found some Green Garlic at a small stand run by a Vietnamese woman and her son – this is a key ingredient hardly ever found and made the difference in the dish.
You can see the butter-moistened panko (gluten-free), the green garlic and fresh parsley all combined to provide tasty flavor pops right out of the oven.
If you ever see this at your Farmer’s Market or the store, pick it up and smell it – it’s distinctively different than regular garlic – much lighter – and has a sweetness to it that makes it extremely delightful.
This is what one pound of mussels looks like. These are just after I cleaned them. They have a ‘beard’ which is a clump of seaweed like material that you can pull off and out. Do this before steaming them in about 1 inch of boiling water for 3 minutes until they open. If a few don’t open, through them out. You ought to get 30 or so to a pound.
The ingredients are very simple. Some unsalted grass fed butter, parsley, green garlic – or substitute 2 cloves of garlic and about a tablespoon of minced shallots, and about 1/3 cup of Panko crumbs.
Open the steamed mussels after they have cooled and leave them open on one half of the shell. Discard the other shells and place the smaller mussels into larger shells so that you have an evenness to the finished pieces.
Place about a teaspoon of the bread crumb mixture on each mussel half. Place on a silpat baking sheet, then under the broiler for about 3 minutes.
Here’s a photo from the finished dish at our Gentlemen’s Dining Club
- 1 pound mussels - figure ½ pound per person
- 2 Tablespoons butter - softened
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 pieces of Green Garlic, or 2 cloves garlic and ½ small minced Shallot
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- Preheat broiler
- Rinse the mussels and take off their beards (the seaweed)
- Steam in 1 inch of salted water for 3 minutes, cool and remove one half of the shell
- Mince the green garlic, parsley and salt
- Fold in the softened butter and bread crumbs
- Place about 1 teaspoon of the mixture atop each mussel and arrange on a baking sheet
- Broil for about 3 minutes - watch so that you don't burn them