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This easy recipe comes from Melissa Clark's weekly A Good Appetite column in The New York Times. Her most recent book is “Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make”.
- In a food processor, pulse together parsley, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Pulse in butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons Pernod until mixture is combined. Scrape into a bowl.
- In a soup pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine mussels, 1/4 cup pastis and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until mussels have opened, 5 to 10 minutes. [Note: Vital Choice mussels come par-cooked, and may not take that long. Also see our note below about opening of shells*.] Transfer mussels to a bowl until cool enough to handle; remove meat from the shells (reserving shells) and transfer to a bowl.
- Pry apart mussel shells and arrange half the shells on one or two large baking sheets; discard remaining shells. Place one mussel in each shell. Top each with a small spoonful of herb butter and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Mussels may be made up to 1 day ahead up to this point; wrap baking sheets and mussels in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, heat broiler to high and arrange a rack 4 inches from the heat. Transfer tray(s) to the oven and broil until bread crumbs are golden, 1 to 2 minutes.