About this recipe:The distinctive fragrances and flavours of fennel and vermouth blend perfectly with succulent mussels. Try serving with lots of crusty French bread to mop up all the juice.
2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) live mussels
1 large head fennel
25 g (1 oz) butter
150 g (5½ oz) onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
175 ml (6 fl oz) dry vermouth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:15min › Ready in:35min
Scrub the mussels, removing any beards still attached to the shells, and wash them well. Discard any that are damaged, or opened ones that do not close when tapped.
Dice the fennel and finely chop the fronds, then set the fronds aside. Melt the butter in a large nonstick saucepan, add the diced fennel, onions and garlic, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until tender.
Stir in the vermouth, parsley, fennel fronds and black pepper and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the shells have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed.
Transfer the mussels to four bowls, pour over the pan juices and serve.