Mussels au gratin

Mussels au gratin

By 18/05/2013

Italians love shellfish and the way the prepare it is just sooo good! Whenever I am in Italy I treat myself to my favourite restaurant and enjoy a big fish meal. What I love most is barbecued shellfish: that smoky, chargrilled taste adds so much in flavour, it is just irresistible.

I have always been a big fish lover and I guess that began with my parents, who have always been fish lovers themselves.

They used to take us children regularly out for fish meals and I remember what a big treat that was. I grew to love fish more and more.

It is well known how taste buds start developing at a young age and they will stay with you for life. This is why it is so important to feed children with the best ingredients you can afford and to avoid making different meals. Italian children eat what their parents eat, full stop and if they don't like it well, bad luck, they probably will next time or the time after. They gradually get accustomed to new flavours and learn to appreciate them. This is the same in France, Spain and many other Mediterranean countries.

Back to shellfish, I made these gratinated mussels very similar to how I have them in my favourite restaurant. They are very popular in Italy as their crunchy topping makes them very tasty and moreish.

  • Prep Time : 40 minutes
  • Cook Time : 15 minutes



Clean the mussels by scraping them with a knife and taking off the beards


Stir fry the garlic cloves with 2 tbsp of olive oil

stir frying garlic

Add the mussels to the pan and cover with the top. Turn the heat up. Add the wine and let it evaporate. After 2-3 minutes all the mussels should be opened. Switch the heat off

cooking mussels

Prepare the filling by chopping the bread into small cubes

cutting bread

In a bowl mix the bread with the Parmesan, 2 tbsp of olive oil, parsley and the filtered juice of the mussels. Add enough juice in order to get a soft mixture but not too soggy

preparing the filling

Open the mussels, pull the fish off the shells and then put it back in again

Gratinated mussels

Put the stuffing over them pressing well

Gratinated mussels

Cook the mussels under the grill of the oven at 200C for 10 minutes until they get slightly golden in colour.

Gratinated mussels

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7 Responses to Mussels au gratin

  1. gloria

    I love mussels this look delicious!!

  2. Javelin Warrior

    I agree with you regarding children and food, Alida. My parents always fed us from the same meals they ate – no exceptions! And as a result, I’m not a picky eater and I’m willing to try new things… Love the sound of these mussels – so tasty and simple to make!

    • Alida

      Thanks Mark!

  3. unikorna

    Yummmmmmmm….I love the colors on them….they must be fragrant and lush…

  4. la cucina di Molly

    Da pugliese come posso non adorare questo piatto! Lo preparo spesso, Γ¨ uno dei miei piatti preferiti! Complimenti ti sono venuti una meraviglia! Un abbraccio!

  5. Nava Krishnan

    I have always stayed away from mussels, not because I don’t like them but I have not cook before. Now that I have seen your lovely dish, transformed with the mussels. am gonna try it out.

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