Potato and mussel salad with harissa dressing

Potato and mussel salad with harissa dressing

Mark Roper

Potato salads are incredibly versatile, their starchiness providing the perfect foil for all sorts of ingredients. The trick is to pour on the dressing while the potatoes are still warm, so that they drink up all the added flavours. This salad would be great as part of a mezze selection, or as a side dish at a barbecue or picnic.



Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2kg mussels
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
100ml white wine


Quantity Ingredient
2 large waxy potatoes
6 spring onions
2 Pickled green chillies, seeded and shredded, optional
2 medium-sized tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 cup coriander, roughly chopped
100ml good quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Red harissa
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


  1. Scrub the mussels clean of any sand and dirt, and pull away the beards.
  2. In a heavy-based pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion, celery and garlic until they just start to soften. Add the mussels and wine, cover the pan and steam on high heat for 2 minutes. Stir the mussels around well, and steam for a further 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave them covered to steam for another minute or so.
  3. Strain off the cooking liquor and reserve. Discard the aromatics and any of the mussels that remain unopened. Remove the mussels from their shells and leave the meat with a little of the cooking liquor until ready to assemble the salad.
  4. Peel the potatoes and cut them into neat smallish dice. Steam for about 10 minutes, or until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the remaining salad ingredients, and mix the harissa with the mayonnaise to make a dressing.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked, tip them into a large mixing bowl and, while they are still hot, sprinkle over the lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix gently so that they absorb the flavours. Next add the spring onions, chillies, tomatoes, parsley, coriander and the mussels, along with a little bit of their juice.
  6. Pour on the harissa dressing and use your hands to mix everything together gently. Serve with a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc and a crusty baguette.
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