There are many ways to prepare mussels. To try something different from the classic method of steaming in white wine, this recipe grills the mussels in a little butter and roasted garlic. Roasting the garlic first ensures a more subtle sweet taste that does not overpower the mussels. To balance the sweetness, the balsamic adds a little acidity.
I used New Zealand Green Shell Mussels for this recipe as I can buy them frozen in the half shell. A lot of locations claim a have the best mussels in the world. The New Zealand Green Shell mussels are certainly up there with the best. They have a sweet flavor and a delicate, tender, and juicy texture. If you cannot find them in your local supermarket, they are available online. As a last resort, use the best mussels you can find.
Mussels, grilled with roast garlic butter
- 20 Mussels – as a starter allow 4 per person
- 1 head garlic
- 30 g butter softened
- 1/4 cup parsley finely diced
- 1 lemon – juiced
- balsamic pearls or balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 200 degC
- Cut the pointy end off the head of garlic and lay exposed end up on a sheet of foil.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt an pepper
- Wrap in the foil
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour
- Remove and allow to cool
- If mussels are fresh, wash them then steam them until they open. Discard any that do not open. Allow to cool. If using frozen mussels, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
- Remove half the shell if using fresh mussles. Remove the beard if there is one.
- Squeeze out the cloves of garlic from the head into a bowl
- Add the butter, lemon juice and parsley and combine
- Arrange mussels on a baking tray
- Add a tsp of the garlic butter to each mussel
- Grill under the broiler for 10 minutes, or until starting to brown.
- Add garnish and serve. I used balsamic pearls. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar would work.