Mussels with Horseradish Cream Recipe

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Photo by Stefan Wettainen
Horseradish and caraway-scented liqeur make this simple dish unique.
15 min COOK TIME
4 servings SERVINGS


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1-1/4 cups aquavit
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish, depending on pungency, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground white pepper


  • Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat, add shallot and sauté until soft but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in aquavit, then add mussels. Cover pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until mussels open wide (start checking around 5 minutes). Turn off heat and discard any mussels that didn’t open. With a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large serving bowl.
  • Bring cooking liquid in pot to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Lower heat, add cream, horseradish and parsley, and simmer until flavors blend, about 2 minutes. Generously grind white pepper over top just before you pour sauce over mussels. Serve garnished with shaved horseradish. Take a culinary trip with more Nordic food in The Nordic Diet: Healthy Eating with an Environmental Bent.

Scandinavians use horseradish creatively, in all sorts of ways. Here, in a Nordic riff on the classic French moules marinieres, mussels are steamed in a caraway-scented aquavit (available at most liquor stores) and finished off with a zesty dose of horseradish.

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