Moules-Frites (Steamed Mussels and Fries)

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

If we could snap our fingers and transport ourselves anywhere, it would be to a charming bistro in Paris (of course). We would be sipping white wine and tucking into moules-frites (aka mussels and fries) as we people-watch on the sidewalk. Can't hop on a plane to France? Luckily, we have the next best thing. Re-creating those Parisian vibes at home is easier than you think with this showstopping recipe. Oh, and guess what? Cooked in a garlicky white wine sauce, you can have dinner ready and on the table in just thirty minutes. Just don't skimp on the lemon-herb aioli. Bon appétit. 

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Lemon-Herb Aioli

½ cup mayonnaise

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Moules Frites

2 tablespoons butter

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 leeks, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 pounds mussels, debearded and cleaned well

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup seafood broth or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley

Herby shoestring fries


1. Make the Aioli: In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper and parsley to combine.

2. Make the Moules-Frites: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and leeks, and sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

3. Stir the tomato paste into the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the mussels and toss gently with the other ingredients in the pan. Add the white wine and broth, and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley.

4. Cover the pan and simmer until the majority of mussels have opened, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.

5. Divide the mussels between two bowls and pour any remaining broth and vegetables over the mussels.

6. Serve immediately with fries and aioli.