May 9, 2015

Mussels with Garlic Wine Sauce

Canadians love their seafood, but sadly, overfishing is the biggest threat to the health of our oceans, and the seafood we love to eat. The world's marine life is quickly being depleted, with an estimated 90% of all large, predatory fish, including sharks, already gone from the world's oceans. A recent study predicted a world-wide fisheries collapse by 2048. Scary, right? 

It's not too late to effect change, to turn back from the brink and begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner. One way to do so is by consuming only sustainable seafood - species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of that species, as well as the greater marine ecosystem. 
mussels in garlic wine sauce

In honour of sustainable seafood, I am sharing one of my favourite seafood recipes - mussels with garlic wine sauce. Farmed mussels, especially those grown in suspended culture such as blue mussels, are an excellent sustainable seafood option. Some people are intimidated over cooking with mussels, but they are cheap, sustainable and surprisingly simple to cook. Minimal ingredients are needed to create this tasty mussel dish. Enjoy!

Mussels in Garlic Wine Sauce
Serves: 3-4 people, as appetizer 

  • 3 lbs (1 bag) blue mussels
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic toast, or slices of french loaf

  1. Clean mussels thoroughly and remove all beards (the brown wispy bit hanging out of the shells) by scrubbing. Discard any dead mussels (one that are open or with broken shells).
  2. Once cleaned, set mussels aside in a bowl of ice.
  3. In a large pot, heat butter over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add broth, wine, salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil.
  5. Add mussels and cover. Cook for eight to ten minutes. Shake pan every few minutes to move mussels around.
  6. Pour into bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread to sop up garlic wine sauce.
mussels in garlic wine sauce

For more information of blue mussels and other sustainable seafood options, check out OceanWise, a a national sustainable seafood initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium that recognizes this problem and aims to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood, working directly with restaurants, markets, food services and supplies ensuring that they have the most current scientific information regarding seafood and helping them make ocean-friendly buying decisions. When the Ocean Wise logo is found next to a menu or seafood item, it is an assurance that the item is a good choice for keeping ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come.

Do you like seafood? How will you be celebrating our oceans?



  1. I haven't had mussels yet but this looks so good

  2. I love seafood! And living in Iceland we have access to lots of seafood, I will have to do some research into how sustainable it is here.

  3. Love this recipe! I'm vegetarian but after a lot of research decided to eat bivalves (including mussels and oysters) because, like you said, they're sustainable and function more like a plant than an animal. I haven't been brave enough to cook them yet but I'll have to try this!


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