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Mussels with Shaved Fennel and Saffron



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1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 pinch saffron strands
1 bay leaf
sea salt flakes and cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup white wine
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 loaf crusty bread, to sop up juices
5 lb. fresh blue cultured mussels


  1. 1
    Rinse fresh blue cultured mussels in a colander and set aside.
  2. 2
    Trim stalks from fennel and using a vegetable peeler, remove blemishes from outer layer. Reserve fennel fronds for garnish. Finely slice fennel into thin strands - this can be done with a mandolin or a knife.
  3. 3
    Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
  4. 4
    Add fennel, onion, garlic and sauté over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until soft.
  5. 5
    Stir in saffron, bay leaf, sea salt and pepper to taste. Turn up the heat to medium high.
  6. 6
    Add wine and remaining butter; stir, then add the mussels. Cover and leave to steam for 5 minutes, or until mussels have opened.
  7. 7
    Discard any mussels that do not open.
  8. 8
    Toss everything together with lemon zest and juice.
  9. 9
    Transfer mussels to individual plates or a serving dish. Top with reserved fennel fronds.


Recipe provided by Mussel Industry Council. Visit them *Saffron are the stamens of the crocus sativus flower. They are expensive, but a little go a long way. If not available, substitute a pinch of turmeric.

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cuisines North & South American
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