Published November 1, 1996.
For a steamed mussels recipe that was quick, flavorful, and grit-free, we began with rope-cultured and Great Eastern bottom mussels (a widely available variety), which we found to be the cleanest. Garlic in the broth balanced and enriched the flavor of the mussels. Simmering the broth for a few minutes before adding the mussels beefed up the flavor. When developing our steamed mussels recipe, we found that larger mussels need to cook a few minutes after they open to firm up, but that didn’t create any difficulty for us. It all evened out if we simply cooked them until all the mussels opened.