Mussel pilaf is one of the recipes Greek use when they want to bring the sea. There is, however, another reason: this dish is vegan and therefore, suitable for Lent. Whatever is your reason to cook this dish, the results are great. You can buy the mussels cleaned and ready to go.
1 kg fresh mussels (Australian)
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup white wine
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
6 spring onions, diced
¼ cup dill, roughly chopped
Zest of one lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Wash mussels and remove beards.
In a heavy based saucepan large enough to fit all the mussels (and has a lid) cook the onions in a little olive oil until soft.
Turn up the heat; add the mussels, the white wine and cover. Shake from time to time until the mussels have opened (about 4 minutes).
Strain mussels and reserve the liquid. Pass the liquid through a fine sieve lined with muslin to ensure you remove any sand. Set aside.
Remove the mussels from their shells, checking to see that the ‘beard’ has been removed.
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a heavy based saucepan and add the rice, stirring until it is well coated with the oil. Add the spring onions and 2 cups of the mussel cooking liquid (make this up with hot water if needed). Season with salt and pepper and simmer on low with the lid on until the rice is cooked and all the water has been absorbed (about 10 – 15 minutes). Remove from the heat, stir through the dill, lemon zest and cooked mussels. Place a clean tea towel between the saucepan and lid and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with dill.