Mussel recipes: nature's thriftiest delicacy

Date:16-02-2014 08:58:19 read:1

Mussel recipes: nature's thriftiest delicacy

Make the most of these versatile, delicious creatures. They are perfect steamed, add a meaty depth to soup or pasta, and really come out of their shells in an imaginative salad

Shell out: quick Italian fish and mussel stew Photo: Andrew Crowley

Peak season for fresh mussels is October to March – but they seem to be particularly delicious right now. I’m buying them at least once a week to eat at home because my children love them: the bigger of my two small boys calls them “yummies”. They’re actually cheaper than chips, too, costing less than £1 a portion if you aren’t too greedy.

A bowl of steaming mussels simply opened in a white wine and garlic sauce is incredibly satisfying. Add tomato and potato as in the fish stew below and you have a truly filling dinner.

Mussels also make an awesome salad. Whether just warm, room temperature or even cold, this take on a seafood salad is a great dinner-party first course.

You can’t write about mussels without including moules frites, and you can’t eat them without asking yourself, “Is this the perfect dinner?” The answer, as the juice dribbles down your chin, will come back a resounding “Yes.”

My last recipe, for mussel pasta, might seem over-fiddly — after all, you can make a wonderful mussel pasta by simply frying garlic and throwing mussels in followed by parsley, chilli, wine and cooked spaghetti. But taking time to shell and chop the mussels before adding them to your sauce shows they can taste meatier and richer than you imagine.

Mussels recipes

Mussel, fennel and tomato spaghetti with pangrattato

Moules frites

Mussel and barley salad

Quick Italian fish, tomato and potato stew

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