Moules aux amandes—an appetizer with a French twist
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THE NUTTINESS OF TOASTED almonds magically elevates the briny, slightly musky flavor of mussels to haute cuisine. These addictive bites can be made ahead and frozen before baking—they’re great to have in your freezer for an impromptu treat with a glass of wine. Just broil the frozen mussels as directed, with a skosh more cooking time. —Sara

  • 2-pound bag live mussels
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1/8 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Heat oven to medium broil. Clean and scrape the mussels under running water, discarding any with cracked shells. Fill a large pot with 3/4 inch of water, and place over medium-high heat. When boiling, add mussels and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, until all mussels have opened, about 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a bowl to cool. Reserve 1/4 cup of the leftover liquid for the almond butter.

2. Place almonds, garlic, parsley, and salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add butter and pulse until just combined. With processor running, drizzle in wine and reserved mussel broth; process until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Separate the mussel shells, and put each mussel meat on the prettiest shell half. Place mussels on a large baking sheet. Cover each mussel with a spoonful of the almond butter. Sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs. Broil until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve hot with fresh lemon wedges on the side.

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer


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