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Mussels au Gratin

Mussels au Gratin

Mussels au gratin, the quick and easy way to prepare a dish which captures the essence of the sea.


31 May, 2012
Average: 2.9 (65 votes)


Season & Occasion

serves for



1 kg, fresh
Lemon juice
From half a lemon
150 g
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper

Mussels au gratin are quite easy to prepare. First and foremost, the mussels you use must be extremely fresh. The bread topping can be made in various ways but, to enjoy this type of shellfish at its best, we advise you to choose the simplest of ingredients.

Here’s the recipe for oven-baked mussels au gratin, explained step by step.  


Step 01

Mussels au Gratin_step one

To prepare mussels au gratin, start by cleaning the mussels thoroughly. Rinse them under cold running water and scrape the back of the shells with a knife blade. Then remove the beard by tugging at it sharply.

Step 02

Mussels au Gratin_step two

To facilitate the job of opening the shells, place the mussels in an empty pan and turn on the heat. Cover and leave to heat for 2 minutes. In this way, the mussels will still be raw but their shells will open slightly. Using the tip of a knife, open the mussels and transfer the mollusc to one half of the shell. Arrange the mussels in their half shells on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper. 

Step 03

Mussels au Gratin_step three

Now prepare the bread topping. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Next, add the roughly chopped parsley and the lemon juice. 


Step 04

Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the finely chopped garlic and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Cover the mussels with a teaspoon of bread topping and, finally, add a drizzle of oil. Pop the mussels into an oven preheated to 180°C for 5 minutes. When the bread topping is golden brown and crisp, your gratin mussels are ready. Serve while still nice and hot.  


Useful tips and interesting facts

When cleaning the mussels, make sure to discard any open or broken shells. In this case, the mollusc will no longer be alive and it is therefore advisable not to eat it.

If you want the mussels au gratin to be even crisper, oven bake them for three minutes before passing them under the grill for the final two minutes.

Mussels au gratin is typically eaten in Southern Italy, especially in Puglia. Serve them as a starter to a fish dinner or as finger food together with an aperitif.

Recipe twists  

For a different version of mussels au gratin, you may enrich the bread topping with a spoonful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano which will make the dish even taster. Instead, for a more summery and fresh flavour, add a cherry tomato concassé.




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