Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Avoid this recipe if you are lactose intolerant.

This is NOT a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
No specific GERD triggers.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


"Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly."
-M. F. K. Fisher, Food writer

The refrigerator light goes on...

Shellfish are really good for you. There’s not much fat and much of it is the good Omega 3 fats.


Most mussels that are available now are grown on mussel farms. They are cultivated on long ropes along coastlines and in tidal pools or bays. The most common variety is the blue mussel. These are dark blue with the shells ranging sometimes to almost black. They are usually 2 – 3 inches long but I like to purchase smaller mussels. I think they are sweeter than the larger ones.

Greenshell New Zealand mussels are now widely available in America. They are slightly larger and have a striking emerald green shell. The flesh is softer and the flavor soft and subtle.

Mussels, like all live shellfish, are best kept as cold as possible. I buy mussels only at fish counters where the other fish appears fresh and is kept well chilled. Look for clean mussels with tightly closed shells – open shells indicate that the mussel is dead. Don't buy mussels with chipped or broken shells.

Cook mussels the day that you buy them. They can be stored overnight or longer in the bottom of the refrigerator inside strainer set over a bowl. Place some ice on top of the mussels and change it frequently to keep them as cold as possible.

Because most of the mussels are now farm raised on ropes they are not as likely to be gritty and don't need cleaning like clams (see Give up the grit). They will often still have a “beard.” These are the “byssal threads” that mussels use to anchor themselves to rocks and such (or the rope when they are farm raised). Remove it by pulling toward the hinge not the open end of the mussel.

4 ounces mussels = 97 calories, 2g fat, <1g sat fat, <1g mono fat, 13g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 324mg sodium, 32mg cholesterol



Mussels in White Wine and Herbed Butter

Servings = 2 | Serving size =1/2 lb. mussels and 1 Tbsp. herbed butter

Cooking Time = 30 Minutes

The butter makes 8 servings and keeps well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It will freeze fairly well.

Serve with 2 ounces sourdough or gluten-free bread.


Serve with Healthy Caesar Salad

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp shallot
2 Tbsp white onion
2 Tbsp curley parsley
1/4 cup (per serving) white wine
1/8 tsp (per serving) salt
1 lb (per serving) mussels cleaned

Cream together the butter, shallot, onion and parsley. This can be made the night before and refrigerated.

Place 1/4 cup white wine (per serving) in a medium sauce pan with 1/8 teaspoon (per serving) salt and one tablespoon (per serving) of the "mussel butter" in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil.

Place 1 lb. mussels (per serving) in the pan and cover.

Steam until mussels are just opened. This will take 3 – 5 minutes.

Serve in bowl with broth.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = 1/2 lb. mussels, 1 Tbsp. butter

Servings = 1


Amount Per Serving

Calories 161 Calories from Fat 45
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 5g 8%
    Saturated Fat 2g 11%
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g  
    Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 575mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
    Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
    Sugars 1g  
Protein 12g  
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 3% Iron 23%
Vitamin K 16 mcg Potassium 374 mg
Magnesium 41 mg