Mussels always take me back to that summer day in Norway, when my husband and I ate lunch on the waterfront in Oslo, on a patio where the chairs were draped with blankets to shield diners from the marine breeze. While I love the classic French meal of mussels steamed in a bath of white wine, shallots, cream, butter, and parsley, it’s fun to switch things up, and that’s where today’s recipe comes in.
Blåskjell–I love the Norwegian name for mussels. If you listen to it being pronounced, “BLO-shell,” you can almost make out the literal translation: “blue shells.” Salty and tender, tasting of the sea, mussels remind me of an unforgettable meal years ago in Oslo at the peak of summer. On my first trip to Norway, my husband and I ate them on the waterfront as the heat of the summer sun competed with the marine breeze.
And now for the recipe.
Broiled Mussels with Dill Butter
By Daytona Strong, from my book “The Pescatarian Cookbook for Beginners”
This appetizer is as easy as can be. Start with fresh mussels, discarding any with broken shells, and toss any that do not open during cooking.
Place a steamer basket into a large pot and add enough water to come up to the bottom of the basket. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
Nestle the mussels in the basket and cover the pot. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes until the mussels open and are just barely cooked through and still tender. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic oil, dill, and lemon juuice. Using a fork, mash everything to combine.
Discard any mussels that have not opened. Break the mussel shells apart and place the half containing the mussel on a large baking sheet. Distribute the dill butter among the mussels. This is messy work and will likely require your hands; don't get too fussy about perfection.
Broil for about 2 minutes until the butter melts and the mussels are warmed through.
Bottled garlic oil is worth keeping on hand for its ease and a flavor that is distinctly garlicky without being overpowering. If you can’t find it, use olive oil and add 1 garlic clove, freshly minced, to the dill butter.
Keyword 30 minutes or less, dill, gluten-free, mussels
If you love mussels, you might also enjoy my recipe for Nordic-inspired steamed mussels with leeks and root vegetables. Click here for the recipe.