Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 4 pounds fresh mussels (about 3 1/2 quarts)

  2. Salt

  3. 4 tender carrots, peeled and cut into thin julienne strips

  4. 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

  5. 5 or 6 sprigs of parsley

  6. 1/2 cup dry white wine

  7. 1/2 lemon

  8. Freshly ground white pepper

  9. Pinch of saffron threads

  10. Pinch of curry powder

  11. 1/2 cup heavy cream

  12. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  13. 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

  14. 1 head of tender chicory (curly endive), rolled up and cut into thin strips (about 1 3/4 cups)

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Pick over and discard any mussels that are cracked. If the mussels are not cultivated, clean and soak them as directed on page 102.

  2. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Cook the carrot strips in boiling water for 30 seconds. Rinse in cold water and drain.

  3. Place the mussels side by side on a rack in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the shallots, parsley sprigs, and ½ cup white wine over the mussels. Cover tightly with foil or a cover and set in the hot oven. Roast for 8 minutes for average-size mussels; overcooking will make them tough. The only way to check doneness is to take a peek: If the shells are just beginning to open, leave them 1 minute longer. If they are open and the mussels could easily be removed from their shells, they are done.

  4. Remove the mussels from their shells over the roasting pan in order to catch their juices. As they are shelled, put the mussels in a bowl. Season the mussels lightly with a grinding of pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Cover the bowl with foil to keep moist and warm.

  5. Strain the mussel cooking liquid from the roasting pan through several thicknesses of dampened cheesecloth directly into a wide nonreactive saucepan. If the liquid is extremely salty, replace up to half of it with water. Add the saffron threads and curry powder. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce barely coats a spoon, about 5 minutes.

  6. Swirl in the butter to thicken the sauce. Throw in the mussels, carrots, chives, and shredded chicory. Swirl over very low heat for up to 1 minute to blend the flavors and heat the ingredients. Do not allow the sauce to boil; you don't want to overcook the mussels at this point. Adjust the seasoning, adding a few drops of lemon juice if necessary. Serve in warmed soup plates as a first course.


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