Everyday Food (June 2011)
Is there any better way to herald the arrival of summer than firing up the grill?
Typically, of course, that means burgers and hot dogs. Maybe chicken or ribs. And we looooove all those things.
But this Memorial Day, we tried something brand new on the backyard grill: mussels. We love ordering mussels at restaurants, where they're usually steamed in a creamy, aromatic broth. But it had never occurred to us that we might be able to grill them at home, until we saw this recipe in the latest issue of Everyday Food.
We might never think of mussels -- or summer barbecues -- the same way again.
These mussels were ridiculously easy to prepare. The seafood guy at Whole Foods cleaned and scrubbed them for us, meaning that, when it came time to grill them, we dumped them straight from the bag onto the hot grill. Five minutes later -- five minutes! -- we were eating them. Let's see burgers and hot dogs do that!
Also, to our somewhat surprise, these mussels were pretty cheap. Two pounds at Whole Foods set us back just 12 bucks, and it was more than enough mussels to make a meal for three people.
A quick toss in parsley butter and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice is all it takes to make these mussels perfect. The slightly smoky flavor from the grill is a great match for the mussels' natural, briny bite.
Paired with a light salad of fresh greens and an icy gin and tonic, these mussels made for just about the perfect meal on a breezy, hot summer night.
Now we've got a whole new dish we can make on the grill -- and a whole new way to celebrate the season of cooking in the backyard. And we're already devising new ways to spice up grilled mussels.
Bring on summer!
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a small pot, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter over medium. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley; set aside.
2. Working in batches, if necessary, place 3 pounds mussels, rinsed and scrubbed, on grill in a single layer. Place two lemons, halved and lightly oiled, on grill, cut side down.
3. Grill until mussels open and lemons are warmed through and browned, 5 minutes. With tongs, transfer mussels as they open to a large platter. (Discard unopened mussels.) Pour herb butter over mussels; sprinkle with coarse salt and ground pepper. Serve with lemons.