Nothing says summer like steamed shellfish. This recipe calls for mussels but tastes just as great with clams. Before cooking the mussels (or clams), place them in a bowl of cold water to clean them. Make sure all the mussels are shut when you start the recipe. If any are open, throw them away.

Inspired by Bon Appétit

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 lbs. of mussels (or clams), scrubbed and debearded (how to)
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 3 T unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
  • 2 T chopped tarragon
  • Toasted slices of country-style bread (for serving)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Add the fennel and shallots and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to soften (about 2 minutes). Add the garlic, season with salt and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, again until fragrant.
  2. Add the mussels and stir gently once or twice to coat with oil. Pour in the wine and stir once more to coat.
  3. Cover the pot and steam the mussels, stirring halfway through, until they open (about 3 minutes). Discard any mussels that do not open.
  4. Add the butter to the pot and mix until the butter has melted into the sauce and the mussels are coated.
  5. Transfer the mussels and sauce to a serving bowl and top with tarragon. Serve alongside bread for dipping.