In Europe, North America and Asia salmon is considered by many the perfect dish to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Full of flavor, they bravely travel upstream and down, overcoming nearly insurmountable obstacles to finally return home. What could provide a more hopeful model for 2017?

But for additional good luck, why not add mussels, that elegant blue-black shellfish that benefits the environment with each opening and closing of its shell.

Add a touch of saffron and the night will be a memorable one full of style AND flavor – And Good Luck!

Salmon and Mussels in Saffron Sauce


  • 1 lb Taylor Mussels, debearded
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 3/4 cup (about) whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 8-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Combine mussels and wine in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover and cook until mussels begin to open, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.  
  3. Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large bowl (discard any mussels that do not open).
  4. Pour liquid from saucepan into 2-cup measuring cup.
  5. Stir in saffron.
  6. Let cooking liquid stand 15 minutes.
  7. Add enough cream to cooking liquid to measure 1 1/3 cups.
  8. Transfer to large saucepan.
  9. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, and cayenne.
  10. Simmer over medium heat until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead.
  12. Cover and chill mussels and sauce separately.)
  13. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat.
  14. Add salmon, rounded side down.
  15. Cook until bottom is golden, about 3 minutes.
  16. Turn salmon over.
  17. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until salmon is opaque in center, about 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  18. Leave covered to keep warm.
  19. Bring sauce in large saucepan to simmer over low heat.
  20. Add mussels in shells; stir until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  21. Stir in lemon juice.
  22. Place 1 salmon fillet on each of 4 plates.
  23. Divide mussels among plates.
  24. Spoon sauce over salmon and mussels.