Mussels with Onions and Celery

4 lb mussels*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sweet vermouth

Heat the oil in a large, wide lidded pot. Add the onions, celery and garlic. Saute until fragrant. Check the mussels to make sure no shells are broken and all are closed. If a mussel is open, tap a few times on a hard surface. If they close, they are safe to eat. If they remain open, throw them out. Place the mussels in the pot. Pour the vermouth over the mussels. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally until the mussels open. Some mussels might open before others depending on where they are in the pan. Use a large spoon to scoop out the mussels as they open and place them in a serving bowl. Throw out any mussels that did not open. Serve immediately.

*Wild caught mussels are the tastiest. Ours were so fresh they actually had little bits of marine life attached to them.

My thoughts:

I just love mussels. Unfortunately, they are not always available locally, so when I see them, I snap them up. These mussels were so fresh and sweet smelling I didn’t want to do too much with them. A quick steam with some aromatic vegetables is all they really needed. And it is all we pretty much needed for dinner as well, a couple of big bowls of mussels, a bowl for discarded shells and we were good to go.


  1. I’ve recently become a big fan of mussels. I’m too scared to try to cook them at home, though. Are they hard to clean (debeard) or can you buy them pre-cleaned?

  2. I’ve actually never seen fresh mussels at the store that had a beard.

    And there is no reason to be scared, mussels are the simplest thing in the world to cook and impossible to mess up.

  3. I love mussels with garlic butty sauce! YUM!

  4. I think I’ve had mussels in the past, but it was years ago. It’s not something I think to cook. I’m not sure why, though.

    I love cooking anything in wine. (I’m having a glass as I write this)

  5. I too love mussels. My favorite way to prepare them is with some white wine, shallot, crushed red pepper, diced jalapeno, and fresh parsley. Steam the mussels until just open and serve with grilled crusty bread rubbed with fresh garlic! Delicious!!

  6. I love mussels, LOVE them! I’ve cooked them in cooking class, but never at home — I keep wanting to try but the servings you can buy in the grocery store are way to big for just me!

  7. katy – go to a fish market, you can buy them by the pound (or less) if you don’t want to buy the 2lb. bags at the supermarket. You might be able to buy smaller amounts at the supermarket if you ask, maybe.

    You could always make them one night, and use the leftovers for a mussel salad, delicious!