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Name of Event

Belgian National Day

Cuisine From



Traditional mussel dish served ina garlicky, briny broth.


Yield 2 servings
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
Main Ingredient Mussels


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot/spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup hard dry cider or white wine#
  • 2 pounds/I kg. mussels (cleaned and beard removed)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise , crème fraîche, or heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Additional mayonnaise for serving (optional, see note above)
  • 1 loaf rustic sourdough bread, thickly sliced, drizzled with olive oil, and toasted

#While the traditional version from Normandy is made with cider, a dry white wine will work wonderfully as well.


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, and bay leave. Season lightly with salt and heavily with black pepper and cook, stirring, until vegetables are very soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to high and add cider or wine. Bring to a boil and let reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. As soon as all the mussels are open, transfer mussels to a bowl using tongs. Place pan lid over bowl to keep mussels warm.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter along with mayonnaise or crème fraîche (if using).
  5. Return mussels to pot, add parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest, stir to combine, then transfer to a warm serving bowl. Serve immediately with additional mayonnaise (if using) and toasted bread.