It’s still Lent and on Friday, I invited a few friends over for a no-meat dinner. It also had to be quick to prepare, as we were coming off the boat straight to dinner 🙂

Note: I partially made the garlic bread the night before, so that it has to go into the oven for a few minutes only.

  1. Warm oven. Put partially prepared garlic bread in.
  2. Wash the mussels under plenty of running water. I used 4 lbs of mussels. Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
  3. In a LARGE heavy pot, melt about 3 generous tablespoons of butter. Add 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic (more if you wish) and 2 finely chopped shallots. Cook until softened.
  4. Add chopped parsley stalks (reserve the leaves), dried thyme and 2 bay leaves. I also added in a chopped tomato.
  5. Add the mussels and 1/3 of a bottle of good white wine. Turn up the heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add cream to taste, season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  7. Serve piping hot with garlic bread (which should be about ready by now).

Don’t forget the other 2/3 bottle of wine!