Having these on hand in the fridge means I’ve always got something delicious to eat when I fancy a quick makeshift graze. Eat them cold with a toothpick before dinner or serve them warm alongside grilled fish.






Skill level

Average: 5 (2 votes)


  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Dutch carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) sherry vinegar
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp smoked pimentòn
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • chopped parsley leaves, to serve (optional)
  • crusty bread, to serve

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.


Makes enough to fill 1 x 800 ml jar.

Chilling time: 4-6 hours

  1. Heat the wine, bay leaves and 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of water in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the mussels and cook, covered, for 4–6 minutes, until the shells just begin to open. Immediately remove the mussels from the pan and set aside. Leave any unopened stragglers in the pan a little longer to see if they’ll open. If they don’t, remove and discard. Keep the pan juices simmering until reduced to about 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of liquid. Strain into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Once the mussels are cool enough to handle, separate them from the shells, snip out the beards with a pair of scissors and place the mussels in a non-reactive bowl with the onion, carrot and garlic.
  3. Combine the sherry vinegar, thyme, salt, sugar, pimentòn and reserved mussel juice in a non-reactive bowl and set aside to completely cool.
  4. Pour the pickling liquid over the mussels and refrigerate for 4–6 hours or overnight.
  5. To serve, drizzle the pickled mussels with a little oil and scatter over some chopped parsley leaves, if you like. Enjoy with crusty bread for mopping up the juices. Any left-over mussels will keep in the fridge for 10–14 days if completely submerged in the pickling liquid.


Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99