The combination of mussels and mayonnaise make for a great sandwich filler, complete with some crisp lettuce and tangy gherkins.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 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)

Cook's notes

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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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