Mussels, leeks and pernod with taramasalata toasts

Mussels, leeks and pernod with taramasalata toasts

By
From
Moorish
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

Some people are a little daunted by the idea of cooking mussels, until they actually try it and discover how simple the process really is. Many supermarkets and fishmongers today sell net bags of beautiful blue-black mussels, already scrubbed clean of their dirty beards. But even if you buy a loose heft of them, still dangling their seaweedy fronds, all they really need is a bit of vigorous scrubbing and tugging.

The cooking process itself requires absolutely minimum effort, and we just love the way the smell of the sea fills the air while the mussels are steaming. The taramasalata toasts just seem to be the perfect classy little accompaniment.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2kg mussels
80ml olive oil
3 leeks, white part only, finely shredded
garlic, finely chopped
2 small bulbs fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced
100ml pernod
1 teaspoon Green harissa
1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon celery leaves, chopped, (from the heart)
150ml thickened cream
1/3 cup parsley leaves
1/2 baguette, sliced into rounds and toasted
100g Taramasalata

Method

  1. Scrub the mussels clean of any sand and dirt and pull away the beards (throw away any mussels that refuse to close after a sharp tap).
  2. Heat the oil in a large cooking pot (such as a Le Creuset), and add the leeks, garlic and fennel. Stir around over a medium heat for a few minutes, then tip in the mussels and shake the pan to move them around over the heat. Pour in the Pernod, cover the pan, turn up the heat and steam for about 3 minutes. Shake the pan vigorously from time to time.
  3. Remove the lid from the pan and stir the mussels around well, then put the lid back on and steam them for a further 2 minutes. Check and discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
  4. Add the harissa, parsley, celery leaves and cream. Bring to the boil and mix everything well.
  5. Divide the mussels among 4 large bowls and spoon over the vegetables and juices. Take care to leave any gritty bits of sand in the pot.
  6. Scatter on the parsley leaves and serve with sliced toasted baguette spread with taramasalata.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Moorish
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