moules marinière {ffwd}


We are no strangers to mussels at our house. We eat them a few times a year and always enjoy them. When I saw that this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was Moules Marinière, I knew we’d be having at least one simple dinner this week. I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t typically put mussels on the grocery list. I’m usually out shopping, see them, and bring them home for dinner. I’m not sure why I don’t plan to eat them more often because they are always surprisingly quick, easy, and satisfying.

The name marinière reminds me of marinara sauce. However, marinara sauce is always a tomato sauce and the marinière had none. Marinière is more of a white wine based sauce. According to Wikipedia, the origins of the names are the same, “Mariner’s Style”. I suppose Italian and French seamen have different cooking tricks up their sleeves.

Aromatic Broth

For moules marinière, onion, shallot, and garlic are sautéed in butter. White wine is added along with herbs and some lemon peel, and a speck of chicken bouillon cube (Dorie’s secret ingredient). The mussels are added to the pot and cooked for just a few minutes, until they open. With some crusty bread, this makes a hearty meal. Reasonably priced, too, at least where I live. I paid $6 for a two pound bag of mussels from Maine. Not bad for a seafood dinner for two.

Mussels from Maine

As I said, I can’t remember meeting a version of steamed mussels that I didn’t like. Moules Marinière was no exception. We both enjoyed this version.

I made my own no-knead bread in the bread dome my sister gave me for the holidays. It was crusty and airy and perfect with the mussels. I hope to share my results in more detail soon. The second loaf is rising on the counter as we speak.


As I said, I used half the mussels called for, though I made the full broth recipe. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any leftovers. When we do have leftover mussels, I enjoy using them to make something like linguine with clam sauce. I pick the mussels from the shells and save the leftover broth (along with any aromatic vegetables). The next night, I cook a box of linguine, gently reheat the mussels in the liquid and pour it over the cooked pasta. All this dish needs is a little fresh chopped parsley to finish it off. I think leftover moules marinière would work well with pasta too.

I’m looking forward to reading about what my fellow FFwD bloggers thought about this week’s recipe. Check out their links at here. We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. It is well worth it.


Posted on 24 January 2014, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Helyn Benjamin

    Hi. Sounds delicious. I love mussels and get them frequently at one restaurant we frequent often. Just had them last week. Very cute card. Thanks. Xxxxxxx

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Yeah, this was a winner…at least for one of us! And I’ve made Paris Brest before…don’t think Bill was a huge fan. I remember it was garnished with some nuts…but as long as he can pick them off, he might at least sample it. And maybe Dorie’s version will be even better than my first attempt :)

  3. I’m glad you and Howard enjoyed the mussels. They were a hit in my house too…at least for one of us, and it wasn’t me! Bill loves mussels, so this week was his FF! I think I would really enjoy them with pasta…maybe chopped up so I didn’t have to bite into one! Like clam sauce! Have a wonderful weekend, Betsy!

  4. I will love to hear all about your bread dome. The aroma of bread baking in your kitchen is heavily. I love mussels also. I forget how easy it is and it’s an especially good recipe for one person. The leftovers, as you suggested, can always be put to good use. Thanks for scheduling the moules late in January so I could get settled and have the fun of making this meal. I really felt like a local as I put this menu together. I have a nice kitchen and gas burners in my winter house in Cambria. After my tiny kitchen in Aspen with it’s electric burners, I feel as if this is heaven. I hope the Vortex #2 has passed by now.

  5. I wonder if i will ever get to the place where i will just but mussels on the fly for dinner?

  6. Betsy, lovely looking moules marinières – so glad that you and you husband enjoyed this very French dish so much! I am also intrigued by your bread dome – the bread that you baked looks wonderful and there is simply nothing more delicious than freshly baked (homemade) bread with mussels to mop up the wonderful broth!
    Have a nice weekend, dear friend!

  7. Have you had mussels in marinara sauce with tons of garlic…it is one of my favorite appetizers to get at a local Italian restaurant? Glad you enjoyed.

  8. I’ve gotta get my act together and make these – they look and sound amazing!

  9. So glad you enjoyed this!

  10. Love the pasta idea! Also, “Moosabec” is a cute brand name for the mussels.

  11. That’s a great photo, makes you want to dig right in. I like the idea of the pasta and mussels, I’m sure it is very tasty with the flavor of the liquid. Have a wonderful

  12. Oh you went all out with making your own bread too :) Well done!

  13. What is a bread dome? I’m clearly spending too much time working if I don’t know about this.
    I bet your freshly baked bread with this was delicious. Love that you are able to make mussels on a whim with no planning:)

  14. Did you get a clay cloche or something else? Details, man, we want details! Don’t mess with us this way by just giving a teaser bit of information :-)
    I am glad to see someone else was representing the Maine mussels this week – this was so good.

  15. Bread dome? I’m intrigued.

  16. Loved this recipe. It is one of my favorites:)

  17. I want to hear more about the bread dome too!

  18. You make it sound so delicious Betsy. Very descriptive writing. I could taste them! Your bread sounds pretty special too.

  19. Great tip to try to plan for leftovers — linguine for another easy dinner! Good call. (But alas, no leftovers…I can relate!) :)

  20. I pictured Marinara sauce when I read the title of this recipe too. I bet these mussels were wonderful with that bread!

  21. Your bread is beautiful. What a lovely crust!

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