Mussels Dijonnaise (Steamed Mussels with Mustard Sauce)

By • September 24, 2012 • 27 Comments

373 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: Turner Fisheries, a restaurant in the Westin Hotel in Boston, used to offer this dish as one of its regular specials. I liked to share a bucket with a friend, along with a delicious house salad and a bottle of Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay. These are so easy and delicious they've become a Friday night staple at Chez Julia.ChefJune

Food52 Review: WHO: ChefJune is a chef and writer based in New York.
WHAT: A dish special enough for a dinner party, and quick enough for a Monday night.
HOW: Sauté onion and shallot, then get mussels steaming with wine, cream, and aromatics.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These mussels take us to a Paris bistro — and they get to the table in under twenty minutes. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of wine, and we’re over the moon.
The Editors

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 3 quarts mussels, beards removed, cleaned and scrubbed (but you can't do this in advance!)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I use Fallot)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add the onions, shallots and garlic, and cook briefly, until wilted. Do not brown.
  2. Add the mussels, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, white wine, and cream. Cover closely and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking to redistribute the mussels. Cook until all the mussels are opened.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a serving bowl. Keep warm. Continue cooking the sauce for a minute, remove bay leaf and the thyme. Stir in the mustard with a wire whisk while heating. Do not boil.
  4. Season sauce to taste with salt if necessary, then spoon equal portions of it over the mussels, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
💬 View Comments ()

Comments (27) Questions (1)

Default-small
Default-small
Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

about 1 month ago julie

Hi June,
I really enjoyed yesterday's gumbo from Paul. We talked about food52, and you mentioned this mussels dijonnaise recipe. I generally don't use heavy cream. Would full fat Greek yogurt do?
Sincerely, Julie

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I've never used that, but it would be worth a try. The heavy cream I always use is not bought in the supermarket. It's a much different product from local dairy Ronnybrook that I buy at the Union Square Greenmarket. It's pricy, but it keeps a long while.

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

5 months ago Grace Cunningham

I was lucky to enough to have also been to the Westin in Boston many years ago. Had these as an appetizer shared with a friend before dinner the first night of our stay the second night we each had it and cleaned our plates including sauce thought I would never find this recipe. Live in the Pacific Northwest and will definitely be making this over the holidays

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

9 months ago Gabriella

Could you explain the reason you cannot clean the mussels in advance? I'm sure there is a perfectly good one, I'm just not experienced enough with mussels to know what it is.

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

9 months ago HB

There is no reason not to scrub the mussels in advance, but don't beard them until your're ready to cook them as it may kill them, and dead mussels are no fun.

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

9 months ago Gabriella

Aha. That is indeed a good reason. Thanks you so much for the information.

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

If you put mussels - indeed any live mollusk - in fresh water, even to rinse them off, you will kill them. They need to be cooked live to be edible.

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

9 months ago cass

Is it correct as the recipe states that "you cannot clean the mussels in advance?

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

That's true. They will die, and then they will be toxic.

A9bd2d18-38e7-4350-b665-66bb68f1f6f5

10 months ago Germaine Chen

Could I substitute mussels with clams instead?

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You could. You could also sub those little cockles from New Zealand I often see at Whole Foods.

Dd4d19ee-26e9-4bee-a76e-53e2910713e2.new_hat

11 months ago Dishlicious

3 quarts of mussels? I'm used to buying by the pound. Any guess as to the weight of 3 quarts?

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

One quart = 32 ounces.

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

about 1 year ago HB

It's curious that this recipe appears identical to one posted on food dot com in 2006, down to the wording of the instructions. Is Chef June the same person as SLColman?

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I haven't noticed your comment before, HB, but this recipe appeared in my cookbook that was published in 2001. That predates that recipe on food dot com by 5 years. So my guess is my recipe was pilfered. And they didn't bother to change anything. Shame on them!

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

about 1 year ago Diane Prenatt

Made this last night and at the last minute, discovered my only mustards were coarse-ground . . . except for some tarragon-flavored (green) Dijon, which was terrific in this recipe. Loved the sauce. Thanks for a great recipe.

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Diane, I often use tarragon mustard for these. It's a great combo!

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

about 1 year ago xmascarol

I made this for 3 of us tonight using 2 # of the frozen musssels. I had made a loaf of peasant bread earlier in the day and served that, steamed green beans and a salad. Dessert was baked custard with maple syrup drizzle and a freshly made ginger snap. We always laugh that when it's a good meal, we price how much it would be in a up scale restaurant. This one was definitely a $100 meal. (We split a Hop Devil beer between 2 of us too. That would have been another $5) anyway----DIVINE!

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 month ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a delicious sounding meal all around!

67544da8-1862-4539-8ec8-2d9dfc2601bb.dsc_0122.nef-1

about 1 year ago Panfusine

Congratulations on the win ChefJune!

5f8cb7cd-f0e3-4f9c-a608-588f8eba1143.profilepic

about 1 year ago Chef Tracy D

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! The broth was VERY flavorful. The only adjustment I made was cutting back a bit on the heavy cream, and I doubled the broth. I like extra to dip the bread in:)

33f00148-b116-47f0-8789-76ae3bdb2bbb.photo-1

about 1 year ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

Congrats! Sounds yummy!

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

about 1 year ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks guys. I'm excited!

5861b4ad-965e-4a67-9c9c-76c273534f33.img_0001

about 1 year ago Kukla

P.S. Good Luck!!!

5861b4ad-965e-4a67-9c9c-76c273534f33.img_0001

about 1 year ago Kukla

Congratulations ChefJune!! I am very glad to see one of your recipes in the finals.

Eb515e78-7387-4e72-b91d-acfa26b55b99.default-full

about 1 year ago Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

Lovely recipe, ChefJune. Thank you. Transports me back to happy times in Paris.

4421619e-f544-4703-9273-6e95dc123a79.black_picture_small

over 2 years ago loubaby

This was one of 3 recipes I cooked as a community pick for the contest...and we loved it...nice change from the standard tomato mussels I usually fix. The only change I made was 1 tbl less mustard....and glad I did...was flavorful enough.