Dirty Martini Mussels

Dirty Martini Mussels
  • 4Servings


  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives, or olives with pimientos, plus 3 tbsp olive brine
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, pasted or grated
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup good quality gin
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 3 pounds medium mussels (about 4 dozen) scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • warm, crusty bread, torn into chunks, for mopping


Using a food processor, finely chop the parsley, olives, garlic and lemon zest. Pour in 1/4 cup EVOO and the lemon juice and process into a pesto.

In a large pot or deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the pesto. Add the gin and vermouth and cook until reduced, about 1 minute. Add the mussels, cover and steam until opened, 6 to 8 minutes; discard any unopened shells.

Add the butter to the mussels and shake the pan to melt it into the sauce. Serve with the bread for mopping.