Makes:10 to 12 servings
Steamed mussels are so ubiquitous you’d think they couldn’t be prepared any other way. But try them broiled. And topping them with paprika aioli boosts their flavor—enough to have turned a few mussel-haters into mussel-lovers in the CHOW kitchen.
Game plan: The mussels can be made up to 4 hours in advance, and they actually improve in flavor when you do so. Follow the recipe through step 3, top with aioli, then cover and refrigerate. When your guests arrive, pop them under the broiler, garnish with parsley and lemon juice, and serve.
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Scrub the mussels and debeard them by grabbing the thread, or beard, that runs along the side of the shell and removing it by pulling it toward the hinge of the shell.
Spread the mussels on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until they open, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Heat the broiler to high.
Carefully pull apart the mussel shells and discard the meatless side of each. With your fingers or a teaspoon, carefully detach the meat from each shell, place it back in the shell, and return the mussel to the baking sheet. Top each mussel with 1/2 teaspoon aioli.
Broil the mussels until the aioli is browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley, and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve immediately.