There’s a good reason that mussels are a standard appetizer in Nova Scotia. Simply steamed and dipped in butter or topped with one of the many sauces that show up on creative menus, sweet and briny mussels stand the test of time. I’m a fan of this recipe that also showcases local fall apples, along with shallots, butter, rosemary and full cream. The smell reminds me of a dish from Northern France, hence the name — and my suggestion that you serve it with a chewy homemade baguette that you can tear up by hand, as though you’re in a French bistro by the sea. The sauce is too good to waste a drop, so use the bread for dipping!
Under cold running water, scrub and de-beard mussels, discarding any that are damaged or don’t close when lightly tapped; set aside.
Julienne apple; set aside.
In a saucepan large enough to accommodate mussels, melt butter; sauté garlic and shallots until translucent. Add cider, salt, pepper and reserved mussels; cover and let steam until mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon and discard any unopened mussels, transfer mussels to warmed individual serving bowls; cover and keep warm.
Stir cream, rosemary, and parsley into cooking liquid in pan; bring to a rapid boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in apple and green onions; cook for 1 minute. Spoon over mussels.
Makes 4 appetizer portions or 2 entree portions