MUSSELS

( Mytilus edulis )


The mantles of lady mussels are orange, while gents' are creamy white. The size of the mussels varies with the season. They're largest and fleshiest in October and smallest in March


RECIPES

#kidscorner

Crunchy baked mussels

  • 1kg mussel in their shells
  • 50g toasted fresh breadcrumbs
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 100g garlic and parsley butter ( 100g
    butter, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley, 
    1 crushed garlic clove )

Mussels in white wine sauce with garlic butter toasts

  • 1kg mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • small bunch of parsley, finely
    chopped ( keep the leaves for the butter, and to serve )
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
For the garlic butter
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp chopped pasley leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 1/2 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • large pinch sea salt
  • 10g hard goats cheese, grated

EASY PEASY

  1. Scrub the mussels and pull off any beards. Rinse in several changes of cold water, then discard
    any that are open and do not close when tapped against the side of the sink
  2. Drain the mussels and put in a large pan with a splash of water. Bring to the boil, then cover the
    pan, shaking occasionally, until the mussels are open – this will take 2-3 mins. Drain well, then
    discard any that remain closed. Heat grill to high
  3. Mix the crumbs and zest. Remove one side of each shell, then spread a little butter onto each
    mussel. Set on a baking tray and sprinkle with crumbs. Grill for 3-4 mins until crunchy 

GARLIC & PARSLEY BUTTER


  1. Take 100g of butter out of the fridge for an hour to soften. Flavour is key, so use good-quality unsalted butter. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until it is soft and creamy, then beat in any of the flavourings you fancy
  2. Tip the flavoured butter onto a square of cling film, roll it around the butter to form a sausage shape, then twist the ends to seal. The butter is now ready to be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. First, make the garlic butter. Mix all the ingredients together, then set aside. The butter can be
    made ahead and chilled in the fridge for up to five days. Toast one side of each sourdough slice
    under the grill. Spread the other side thickly with the butter and place under the grill again until
    the butter is bubbling. Turn off the grill and keep the toasts warm
  2. Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat in a large pan with a lid. Add the parsley stalks, bay leaf, shallot and ½ tsp pepper, and sweat for a few mins until the shallots are softening and fragrant. Add the mussels and white wine, stir, cover tightly with a lid and steam for 2-3 mins until all the mussels have opened
  3. Spoon into bowls, pour over the pan juices, scatter over some chopped parsley and serve with the toasts