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NZ Greenshell™ Mussels in a Saffron Cream Sauce

Cooking time: 40

Cooking method: Stove top


  • 32 New Zealand Greenshell™ mussels frozen half shell
  • 10ml olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 30g small brown onion, fine diced
  • 30g celery stalk, fine diced
  • 30g fennel bulb, fine diced
  • 4 sprigs lemon thyme (normal thyme also works), stalks removed leaves only
  • 15ml pernod (optional)
  • 30ml white wine (such as dry Riesling)
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 500ml cream
  • 12 cherry tomatoes (optional, blanched and peeled)
  • Italian parsley
  • chives spears

Cooking instructions

  1. Allow the mussels to defrost in a tray with sides then pour off any juices that are left from the defrosted mussels. Through a fine strainer to remove any broken shell fragments. Reserve the mussel juice. 
  2. Place a medium to large saucepan on the heat; add the oil and butter allowing the butter to just start to bubble. Add the onion, celery, fennel and thyme and sauté without colouring the ingredients.
  3. Add the pernod and burn off the alcohol if possible (be aware of any low fixtures as the flames will rise up quickly) then add the white wine, mussel juice and saffron. Allow the saffron to cook out for 10-20 seconds.
  4. Add the cream to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to reduce until the mixture slightly thickens and has a saffron yellow colour (colour will depend on the quality of the saffron).
  5. Add the mussels and heat through. This will take approximately 2-3 minutes (any longer will over cook the mussels).
  6. Using a slotted spoon or tongs plate eight Greenshell™ mussels into 4 suitable serving bowls.
  7. Garnish each bowl with 4 cherry tomatoes and picked Italian parsley and chive spears.
  8. Serve immediately while the dishes are hot.

This recipe serves 4 people.

Image and recipe courtesy Nurtured Seafood