Pine needles impart a delicious, smoky tang to the mussels in a classic terree de moules, or mussel bake, which is traditionally done on the beach. The same results (and spectacle) can be achieved by means of a standard kettle grill. If you have access to dried, pesticide-free longleaf pine needles (from a species like aleppo or umbrella), you can collect your own (make sure they’re completely brown).

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 12 lb. mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • Dried pine needles, for smoking


  1. Place mussels, rounded side up, about 1″–2″ apart, between the slats of the grill grate. Pile lightly packed dried pine needles atop mussels to a height of about 12″. Light needles with a match; stand back. Allow needles to burn to ash, about 4–5 minutes. Dust away excess ash. Eat the mussels straight from the grill. (Discard any that are unopened.)