Turmeric Mussels on Basil Aioli Toast


I’m writing this at work, so I have to make this intro quick 😦

A couple days ago, I bought a couple bags of mussels and I found myself thinking about a different approach to serving mussels. Like, why do we always have to eat them out of the shell?

I brooded on it for a bit then decided that instead of serving them in their shells with toast on the side, why not serve them on the toast – make the crunch part of the initial bite?


This idea was starting to build up atmosphere, so then I figured why not make an aioli as a way to hold the mussels on the toast while gently influencing the overall taste.

Ironically, this was my first time making aioli from scratch and it was sooooo much easier than I thought. I typically make it with Mayo (Vegan Mayo in my case) but I think this is the way I’m going to go when it comes to aioli from now on.

Mussels on toast is meant to be eaten by hand, like the way you would a hotdog. It’s a little messy but so much fucking fun 😀



Turmeric Mussels on Basil Aioli Toast

What I Used

3/4 slices of bread (halved). 2 bags of Mussels (~60 mussels). 4 tsp minced Garlic. 2 large egg/3 small eggs (yolks only). 1 cup chopped Basil. 1 cup chopped Cilantro. 1 cup ½in sliced Leeks. 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour. ¼ cup diced Shallots. ½ cup thinly sliced Cherrystone Tomatoes (seeded).½ cup Canola Oil. Turmeric Powder. Olive Oil. Salt. Pepper.

What I Did 

Allllright. So. First – clean your mussels:

Fill a large bowl with water and add 1 tbsp flour. Mix well, then add the mussels. Let them soak, under the floured water for about 5 mins.

The mussels are alive see, breathing through the seams of their shells. And the flour congests the water which causes the mussels to ‘spit’ as they try and filter the clean water through. When they spit – out comes dirt, grime, small stones….all the things you don’t want in your mouth.

Just be careful not to let them sit in the water too long or they’ll suffocate.

Rinse them in clean water, drain and set aside.


Next, in a large pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté ¼ cup diced shallots with 1 tbsp minced garlic and 2 tsp turmeric powder for about 1 min, stirring occasionally.

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Add the mussels and let cook, covered for about 5 mins or until they open. 

They will cook in their own broth but you may need to toss them gently so the heat is equally distributed to the ones on top.

When all the mussels are open, remove the pot from the heat and set aside.


While the mussels are cooling, make the Basil Aioli.


Blend 2 tsp diced garlic with 2 large egg yolks (3 yolks if you have small eggs) for about 1 min.

Slowly drizzle in ½ cup Canola Oil and blend until you achieve a smooth, thick texture.

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Add in 1 cup chopped basil and blend until smooth.

Season with Salt & Pepper and set aside.

By now, the mussels should be cool enough for you to handle…

Remove the mussels from their shell, discard the shells and reserve the broth.


Keep the mussels warm by letting the mussels sit in the reserved broth to warm while you make the Leeks.


Slice the leeks, green part only, ½ in thick and sauté in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 30 sec.

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Add in the ½ cup tomatoes and 2 tsp Turmeric Powder and cook for 1 min, stirring often.

Mix in 1 cup chopped cilantro and stir until wilted. Turn the flame off and set aside.

Next – drain the mussels from the broth and in a large bowl, combine the reserved turmeric mixture with the mussels.


Lastly, toast a few slices of bread, or an English Muffin if you don’t have regular bread like me 🙂

Lightly butter it on one side and toast in a dry pan, buttered-side down until the side down turns golden brown.


Now it’s just a matter of assembly!

Spread the Basil Aioli on top of the toasted bread and top with the mussels.

IMG_20140609_160434_1how to cook musselscooking musselsTurmeric Mussels on Basil Aioli ToastTurmeric Mussels on Basil Aioli Toast





I’m entering this post into Our Growing Edge link party because this was the first time I made Aioli from scratch.

I really have no idea why I didn’t try this sooner! This month, Our Growing Edge is being hosted by Phuong from My Kitchen of Love.

More info on Our Growing Edge can be found HERE. 



25 thoughts on “Turmeric Mussels on Basil Aioli Toast

  1. I adore mussels. Here in New Zealand, they are plump, cheap and delicious. It’s odd they aren’t our national food! I usually serve them right in their shells. A quick steam, add a little sauce or chopped ingredients, give it shake and tip them into bowls with bread to mop up the sauce. Probably the easiest thing to cook too.

    Interesting tip about washing mussels. I’ve never found any dirt or grime inside the mussels, only beards and tiny crabs. Our mussels are farmed at the surface of the water which might change their diet considerably.

    1. Hey Genie,

      Mussels are indeed a common item for those of us that live on the coast. And you’re right, they are typically steamed and served in their shells.

      Although, I find it so cool that yours are much larger than ours here. I wonder if that’s a coastal thing too.
      Some New England mussels can be pretty grimy, depending on where you get them from, so I’ve just fallen into the habit of cleaning them (and bearding them when necessary) before cooking them.
      Is steaming them the most popular way of cooking them in NZ too?

      1. p.s. I just did some research and our Green lipped mussels grow up to 240mm (over 9 inches) but they are usually harvested at 100mm (4 inches). How does that compare?

  2. Your post reminds me that I do love mussels, too. I have not eaten them for soooo long I forgot about them hahaha. I love your recipe so much Dana; it looks so yummy 🙂

  3. This looks amazing. So yum. I love the amazing basil aioli the most, I think I’d pour it over EVERY.THING once I had a jar of it on hand! Delicious. Gorgeous photos too!

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