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Eric Ripert's Mussels with Tomato-Saffron Butter Recipe


Mussel with Tomato-Saffron Butter

Mussels cooked in garlic and white wine is a classic combination, and the saffron threads incorporated into the lemon juice and butter give the broth in this dish its beautiful orange-red color. 

Adapted from "Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey with Eric Ripert" by Eric Ripert. 


  • 1 teaspoon (tightly packed) saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  •  Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds mussels
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ cup diced seeded peeled tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • Crusty bread


In a small mixing bowl, steep the saffron in the lemon juice for 5 minutes. Add the softened butter and whisk until fully blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Scrub the mussels well under cold running water, discarding any with broken shells. Remove the beards from the mussels.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add the mussels, tomatoes, white wine and parsley; toss to combine. Add the saffron butter, cover the skillet and cook the mussels until they all open, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with crusty bread.