These grilled ramps mussels are the perfect spring appetizers. It is a fun way to serve sweet, meaty mussels topped with a crunchy Panko crumb crust.
Every spring I look forward to the arrival of ramps or wild garlic and the myriad of recipes that I can make from pasta, pesto, tart, scones, roasted chicken and fish, to pickled ramps. One recipe that I’ve been wanting to share with you is grilled ramp mussels. It is a fun way to serve sweet, meaty mussels topped with a crunchy crumb crust. The dish was inspired by my mom's grilled mussels with scallion that she has been making for years.
This recipe doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, chopped ramps, panko bread crumbs, olive oil, and the freshest mussels you can find. Ramp season is fleeting so get them when you can. If you can’t find Panko breadcrumbs, regular bread crumb is a good alternative.
How to prep mussels
Pick mussels that are small, black, and glistening and you’ll be rewarded with a sweet, tender, and briny taste. As soon as you get home, rinse them in very cold water which makes their shells shut tightly. Discard any that are open, broken, or cracked. While you’re checking them, remove their beards by gently pulling and twisting at the same time. If you’re not ready to cook them, put the prepped mussels in a dry bowl covered with a damp towel and refrigerate.
How to cook mussels
The mussels are first cooked in a mixture of white wine and water for the shell to open. Then a layer of chopped ramps and panko bread crumbs are spreaded on top to create a crunchy layer when grilled. If you don’t have a grill, you can use your oven and turn it up to the highest setting, and broil the mussels for 3-5 minutes until the topping turns golden brown.
With grilling season right around the corner, this is the perfect recipe to break into it. These grilled ramp mussels take little time to make and the end is so worth it. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top, have a beer ready, and before you know it, you’ll be wishing that you had double the amount of mussels. Ramp is the perfect way to add that garlicky flavor while the breadcrumbs add crunch and texture for a delicious appetizer.
For more wild garlic / ramp inspiration, check these recipes: ramp spring tart, ramp ricotta baked eggs, ramp and pistachio pesto, ramp and hazelnut pesto, and ramp pesto pizza with asparagus and peas
- 1.5 lbs mussels
- 6 tbsps ramp leaves, finely chopped (wild garlic)
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup water
- fresh lemon slices for serving
- Rinse the mussels well under cold running water. Discard any mussels that are open or cracked. Scrub well and remove any beards or grit.
- In a large saucepan, add wine and cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the mussels to the pan, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until all the mussels have steamed open.
- Drain the mussels, discarding any that didn’t open. Set aside until they’re cool enough to handle.
- Pull half of the shell off each mussel, leaving the mussel anchored in the remaining half. Place the mussels, shell side down, on a lined baking sheet.
- In a prep bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, ramps, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon a little bit of ramp mixture over each mussels, forming a top crust.
- Preheat a grill to its highest setting and cook the mussels for 3-5 minutes until the crumb topping turns golden brown. Serve immediately with lemon slices.