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Roast Mussels with Walnut Pesto

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

The meat of roast mussels can splay out a little, so don’t be alarmed if they look different from steamed mussels. Their intensely musselly taste will quickly win you over, especially with garlicky toast and rich pesto.


  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 loaf crusty French baguette, halved crosswise, then halved lengthwise
  • 2 packed cups basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 lb. mussels, cleaned

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 690
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 380
  • Fat (g): 43
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 1260
  • Carbohydrates (g): 40
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 35


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 450°F.
  • Finely chop 1 of the garlic cloves and mix with the butter. Spread evenly on the bread and toast until crisp and browned, about 9 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the basil, the remaining clove of garlic, and oil in a blender or food processor, and pulse until combined. Add the walnuts, and blend until almost smooth. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle the thyme in the bottom of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, top with the mussels, and roast until they open, about 5 minutes. Serve the mussels with the bread and pesto on the side. The shells may be a little brittle, so remove the meat gently.


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