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Mussels in Pernod Butter

Mussells in Pernod Butter

Mussels in Pernod Butter

Pernod is an anise-flavored liqueur that imparts a distinct flavor to the butter in this mussel’s dish served as an appetizer. A small amount of Pernod goes a long way so once purchased, if you only use it for cooking, a bottle will last a long time. I also use Pernod when making Bouillabaisse, which produces final perfection in the flavoring of the classic Provencal Fish Stew. Pernod Butter freezes well and works in culinary combination with other dishes such as sliced onto hot sauteed or grilled salmon even chicken breast.

I first tasted something like this Mussels in Pernod Butter at the former Apropos Restaurant in Philadelphia years back offered as a menu item one season. Served on a heavy metal tray, mussels covered with bright green colored Pernod Butter, then topped with breadcrumbs on a bed of sea salt produced an unforgettable scent and unique flavor. Years later, I regretted not having written down the recipe. I am not even sure if Aliza Green was still the Executive Chef at the time.

Having my bottle of Pernod in stock that I use for the annual Bouillabaisse set my senses craving a tray of these delicious mussels and I thought it would be a perfect appetizer to share with you over the holiday season. Although any range of ingredients or fresh herbs may be a part of this original dish, this I do not know, I kept the recipe simple using just garlic and parsley in addition to the Pernod.

Making Pernod Compound Butter is quite easy using a food processor to blend the butter with the additional three ingredients. You can make Mussels in Pernod Butter in advance, cooking your mussels, loosening and removing them from the shells, then replacing them back into the shell so guests can easily fork them out. Once you cover each of the mussels with the butter, wrap them on a tray in freezer paper, and store in your freezer until ready to use.

Because of the gentle flavor and texture of mussels, I prefer not to freeze the finished tray any longer than a few days. You can defrost the mussels in your refrigerator the evening before use, top them with the bread crumbs just before putting them into the oven, bake them until warmed through, then broil them a couple of minutes until the breadcrumbs tops begin turning a golden color.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday season and that you are able to enjoy some new and interesting appetizer selections to share with family and friends, such as this Mussels in Pernod Butter. Enjoy.

Mussels in Pernod Butter

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: Appetizers, Fish

Servings: 30

Mussels in Pernod Butter


  • For the Mussels
  • 3-4 pounds mussels, cleaned, see directions below
  • 2 cups white wine
  • For the Pernod Butter:
  • 1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic,quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, large stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod liqueur
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs for topping, approximately


  1. Preparing the Mussels: Remove mussels from the storage bag, if not preparing right away, place into a long container and cover mussels with ice. When ready to clean mussels, rinse, then soak in cold water for at least fifteen minutes, discard any open mussels or those with broken shells, remove the beards pulling from the sides of shells, re-rinse a second time
  2. Heat white wine in the bottom of a large heavy pan with a tight fitting lid, when near boiling, gently tumble the mussels into the heated wine and cover with the lid, cook around three to four minutes then lift the lid gently stirring the mussels all about, if some of the mussels have already opened, close the lid again and cook another couple minutes for the remaining mussel shells to open, turn off heat
  3. Transfer cooked mussels to a baking sheet, when cool enough to touch remove the top shells and discard, gently loosen and pull out the cooked mussel then replace it back into its shell
  4. Preparing the Mussel Butter: Drop the quartered garlic cloves into a food processor with the metal blade, quick pulse until garlic finely minced, add in the salt and parsley leaves, pulse again, scrape in the butter pieces and pulse until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, pour the Pernod through the feeder tube and pulse until the Pernod is blended with the butter mixture, transfer Pernod Butter to a small bowl using a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl
  5. Assembling the Mussels and Pernod Butter: When ready to serve mussels preheat oven to 400 degrees, spoon enough Pernod Butter on top of each mussel to completely cover the mussel and shell returning each dressed mussel back to the baking sheet, lightly sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top
  6. Set mussels into the oven and bake for five minutes, adjust the oven temperature to broil and cook for another three minutes or more until the breadcrumbs have turned a golden color and the butter is fully melted
  7. Transfer broiled Mussels to a platter or set upon a bed of coarse sea salt, serve hot straight away





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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.
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