Close-up of Mussels with Saffron Cream, as seen on Be My Guest, Season 2.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Mussels with Saffron Cream

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings



  1. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch round x 5-inch deep) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and saffron and sauté for 4 minutes, until the shallots are tender and fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of the wine, the cream, lemon zest, and tarragon. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Add the remaining 1 cup wine and 1/2 cup of water. Add the mussels, cover the pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until all the mussels have opened (discard any that don’t open). Sprinkle with the parsley, chives, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well with a large metal spoon and serve hot in shallow bowls with the broth and bread for dipping.

Cook’s Note

Many seafood shops sell cleaned mussels. If not, debeard them and soak them in a large bowl of warm water with some flour so they disgorge any sand. Discard any mussels that don’t close when you tap them.