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LivingFood and DrinkMussels with White Beans, Rosemary and Garlic

Mussels with White Beans, Rosemary and Garlic

by Susan Hanna

Mussels are delicious, inexpensive and quick to prepare. This recipe from NYT Cooking combines mussels with white beans, served in a savoury rosemary-garlic broth. Cook’s note: To make this meal even less expensive, use dried beans instead of canned beans. Soak 1 ½ cups (375 ml) of dry navy or cannellini beans in water overnight, drain, cover with 2 inches (5 cm) of water and simmer until tender.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

If using canned beans, try Blue Menu brand, which is additive-free. Make sure the red pepper flakes do not contain colour. I use Imagine Organic stock and white wine from Frogpond Farm that has a sulfite level below 10 parts per million. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • ¾ cup (187.5 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • Fine sea salt or table salt
  • 2 (15-ounce/425 g) cans white beans, such as cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 pounds (907 g) mussels
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chopped fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, dill or cilantro, plus more for serving


  1. In a large pot with a tight-fitting cover, combine oil and garlic over medium-low heat. Add red-pepper flakes, rosemary and pinch of salt. Cook until garlic just begins to turn pale gold at the edges (don’t let the garlic turn brown), 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add beans, vegetable broth, wine and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt to the pot and stir until beans are well coated. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until broth thickens, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse mussels under cold running water. If you see hairy clumps around the shell (called beards), use a sharp knife or your fingers to pull them off, then rinse mussels well. Discard any mussels with cracked shells or shells that won’t close once you pinch together the edges.
  4. Add mussels to the pot and cover. Let the mussels steam, stirring once or twice, until they open, 5 to 8 minutes. Gently stir in lemon zest and herbs. Taste, adding more salt, if needed.
  5. To serve, divide mussels and beans among individual bowls. Discard any mussels that have not opened and garnish with more herbs and red-pepper flakes, if you like.

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