Mussels with Herbed Bread Crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups coarse crumbs from a fresh loaf of crusty Italian or French bread
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 oz)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
- 1/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 56 mussels (1 1/4 pound; preferably cultivated),cleaned and steamed , using half white wine and half water, then shucked, reserving 56 half shells
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 1 Accompaniment: lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Stir together bread crumbs, oil, cheese, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and table salt.
Scrub reserved shells inside and out and dry thoroughly. Spread kosher salt about 1/4 inch deep in a large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan and nestle shells in salt to keep them level. Return shucked mussels to shells and top each with about 1 teaspoon bread crumb mixture.
Bake mussels in middle of oven until crumbs are golden brown and crisp, about 7 minutes.
Cool slightly and brush salt from bottoms of mussel shells before serving.