The combination of mussels and mayonnaise make for a great sandwich filler, complete with some crisp lettuce and tangy gherkins.
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) dry white wine
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1.3 kg (2 lb 14 oz) mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) mahonesa (recipe here)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp hot English mustard
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ bunch chives, finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely diced
- sea salt flakes and white pepper
- shredded lettuce, to serve
- hot sauce, to serve
- lemon wedges, to serve
- sliced sandwich bread, to serve (optional)
- sliced gherkin (dill pickle), to serve (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Place the wine, bay leaf and 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of water in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring to a simmer, then add the mussels and cook, covered, for 4–6 minutes, until the shells just begin to open. Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove the mussels and set aside in a bowl. Leave any stragglers in there a little longer to see if they’ll open and remove when they do. Keep the pan juices simmering until you have about 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of liquid remaining. Strain into a small bowl to remove any impurities and discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
- Once the mussels are cool enough to handle, separate the flesh from the shells and place in a non-reactive bowl with the mahonesa, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, chives and green chilli. Season with salt and white pepper and stir to combine.
- Serve the mussels as a salad on a bed of shredded lettuce with hot sauce and lemon wedges on the side or in a sandwich with extra hot sauce and a few slices of gherkin.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99