In North America, blue mussels, the most common variety, grow on pilings, bulkheads, piers, and even on some bridge anchorages. The aquacultures mussels (like those in Europe) are grown on ropes suspended in the water. Blue mussels are harvested from the clear sea waters off the New England coast, while a relative also grows in the northern waters of the Pacific.
New Zealand green lips are larger than blue mussels, with a shell color that ranges from brown to green. Their flavor is more pronounced than blues. Prince Edward mussels are also at fish markets, they’re aquacultures in Canada and Nova Scotia, smaller than the New Zealand variety, and seem to have a more delicate flavor.
I love mussels in lots of different ways but I find this to be very tasty and it also works very well with clams. If you wish, you can add pesto to the breadcrumbs, which will give a lovely flavor to the mussels.
Greenshell Mussels with Herbed Breadcrumbs, Au Gratin
- 2 lb. New Zealand Greenshell mussels (or other large mussels)
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp. white truffle oil (or olive oil)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 taps dried chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- lemon wedges and salad to serve
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
To make topping combine breadcrumbs, oil, cheese, garlic, and seasonings.
Place the mussels on a baking tray and place 1-2 teaspoons of breadcrumbs mixture on top of each mussel.
Bake the mussels in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges on Black Hawaiian Sea Salt (optional) and salad on a side.