mussels white wine leek sauce

Mussels with Leeks, Garlic and Wine 

Mussels - I avoided cooking them for years. They seemed... hard. But I loved them and ordered them constantly at restaurants. One day I decided, hell - I'll try! I'm a man! I can do this! 

Thank god I tried. Guess what - they're super, SUPER easy.


  • 4 tbsp butter

  • 3 leeks, cleaned, cut in half and sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1/2-1 tsp (mild-hot) red pepper flakes

  • 1 bottle white wine (minus what makes its way into your glass)

  • 1 tomato, seeds removed and diced

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 tsp white sugar

  • 4 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and cleaned

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley



  1. In large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add sliced leeks and cook 5 minutes until softened.

  2. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, 5 minutes more.

  3. Add wine to pot, making sure to scrape up any crunchy bits on the bottom (the flavour hides here, get it ALL). 

  4. Add tomato, zest of 1 lemon and 1 tsp white sugar. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil. 

  5. Add mussels, and cover the pot immediately. Shake pot and let boil for 1 minute. 

  6. Stir mussels, replace cover and let boil for 2 more minutes. Open lid and take a peak, shells should be starting to open (but likely not all of them).

  7. Add parsley, stir and cover lid again. Continue to cook until all shells are open, 1-3 minutes more. Discard any unopened mussels. 

  8. Place mussels in large serving dish, being careful to keep sauce in bottom of stock pot. Add juice of 1 lemon and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 sauce over top of mussels and coat to combine. Place other 1/2 sauce in serving ramekin to dunk mussels in. 

  9. Serve with crusty bread (a must to soak up that delicious sauce) and fresh lemon wedge.