Serves: 2-3 people. Preparation time: 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine the cleaned mussels and half the wine. Cook covered over medium heat until the mussels open (about 3-5 minutes). Remove the lid, turn off the heat and let cool. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Melt the butter in a skillet, add the fennel and shallots and cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally. Add the Pernod and the remaining wine, and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes allowing the liquid to mostly evaporate. Turn off the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs, fennel fronds, salt and pepper.
Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack about 4 inches below the flames. Open each mussel and discard the empty half shell, retaining the meat in one shell half facing up on a baking sheet covered with the sea salt. Once arranged, spoon a teaspoon of fennel mixture on each mussel. Broil about 3 minutes until lightly browned. Serve with garnish, 8-12 per guest.