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Steamed Mussels With Wheat Beer and Basil (and Garlicky Aïoli Toasts)

There are very few foods that deliver as much bang for your buck as fresh steamed mussels. They are crazy cheap and when cooked well, one of the most delicious proteins that can be plucked from the sea.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings
Author: Emily Clifton - Nerds with Knives


For the Mussels

  • 2 lb. mussels cleaned and debearded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Belgian-style wheat beer or pale ale
  • 1 1 ⁄2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
  • 1 jalapeño red or green, halved, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 ⁄2 cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 ⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
  • Toasted bread for serving

For the Garlicky-Lemony Aïoli: (either use our recipe for homemade or use store-bought mayonnaise)

  • 1/2 cup homemade aïoli

(If using store-bought, add ingredients below to 1/2 cup mayonnaise)

  • 1 small garlic clove finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • If using store-bought mayonnaise, stir the mayo, garlic, salt, lemon and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and bring to a boil. Stir in the lemon juice and mustard until smooth. Add the mussels, cover the pot and cook, undisturbed, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a serving bowl. Discard any that won’t open. Add the butter and chili and stir until broth is melted and emulsified. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, as desired. Pour the broth over top of mussels. Sprinkle with the parsley and basil, and serve hot with the aïoli and toasted bread on the side.
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