fresh dill, chopped
shakes red pepper flakes, to taste
fresh ground black pepper
aquavit (scandinavian caraway-flavored liqueur)
sandwich bread, as needed, toasted and crusts removed
1In a large, non-corrosive pan, combine onion, 3/4 of the dill, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, pepper, wine and 3 cups water.
2Bring liquid to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.
3Strain into a clean pan. (If desired, recipe may be done ahead to this point. Refrigerate broth and mussels).
4Rinse (do not soak) mussels and remove wire-like beards if visible.
5Add salt and aquavit to the broth and bring to a boil.
6Add the mussels, cover and cook over medium-high heat until shells have opened, 3 to 5 minutes.
7Remove pan from heat and discard mussels whose shells remain closed.
8Remove remaining mussels from their shells and discard shells.
9Mix mayonnaise with most of remaining dill (reserving some for garnish) and, if desired, aquavit to taste.
10Place mayonnaise in a small bowl (or spread on toasted bread).
11Place bowl on a plate and surround with the mussels, each one (or, depending on size, a pair) speared with a toothpick; or cut each slice of toast into 6 pieces and top each with a mussel.
12Transfer to a platter, garnish with remaining dill and serve.