I love using the heat of the grill to open shellfish. The flavors of garlic, parsley and mint make this a great opener to a meal or a nice side dish or nibble. The crunch of the breadcrumbs is also a great texture contrast to the mussels and the flavors evoke the natural sweetness of the mussels.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and “pressed”
1 cup breadcrumbs, toasted golden brown
1 cup parsley leaves, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
2 sprigs mint, washed, dried, stemmed and coarsely chopped
8 dozen mussels, scrubbed, “beards” removed
The juice from 1 or 2 lemons
1.Preheat the grill.
2.Make the sauce: Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil. Warm it slightly over low heat and add the garlic. Using a wooden spoon, stir the garlic and season with salt. Give the garlic a minute to “melt” into the oil but do not let it brown. Stir in the breadcrumbs, parsley and mint. Taste for seasoning, Set aside.
3.Cook and serve the mussels: When the grill is hot, scatter the mussels on the grill in a single layer. Have a pair of tongs and a large platter ready. As the mussels open, use the tongs to remove them from the grill and place them on the platter. When they are all opened, squeeze the juice from the lemons over them and “spoon” the breadcrumb mix into the shells. Serve immediately.