Mussels in a creamy white wine, garlic and herb sauce

March 19, 2020

PAIRED WITH: Cape of Good Hope Altima Sauvignon Blanc

Cape of Good Hope recipe series by Ilse van der Merwe (

Photographs by Tasha Seccombe

Mussels in a creamy white wine, garlic and herb sauce

Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 mins


  • 1,5kg fresh black mussels
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only + extra, to serve
  • 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 125ml (½ cup) fresh cream
  • handful finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
  • loaf crusty bread, to serve



Place the mussels in a large bowl of cold water and rinse well. Remove the beards by pulling off the grassy bits from the pointy edge of the mussels. Drain the mussels and set aside.


In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme, frying until it is soft and fragrant, but not too dark, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and turn up the heat to high. As soon as the liquid comes to the boil, add the mussels all at once and cover the pot with a lid. Steam for 3 minutes, then give the mussels a stir. Cover and steam for another 2 minutes, making sure the mussels have opened properly – discard any mussels that do not open.


Remove from heat, add the cream and stir to combine. Ladle into bowls, scatter with the chopped parsley and some more thyme, and serve at once with crusty bread to mop up the fragrant sauce.

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