Beautifully simple, reassuringly rustic and moreish to boot. Here’s my recipe for open-baked mussels that my children can’t get enough of. It’s a reasonably cheap dish that’s definitely crowd-pleasing comfort food, and yet I believe it to be equally worthy of any dinner party.
- 1kg mussels
- Hunk of sourdough (to make breadcrumbs)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Bunch of parsley
- 1 tomato, deseeded and diced (concasse)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 70g ham, chopped
- 2 banana shallots, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 125ml white wine (or water)
- Clean and sort through your mussels, removing beards and discarding any open (dead) ones.
- Pop the mussels in a pot with a sprinkling of shallot, parsley stalks and the white wine (or water). Cover with a lid and steam the mussels for 4 minutes.
- Discard any mussels that didn’t open during cooking.
- Remove half of each mussel shell and lay the full halves out on a baking sheet.
- Blitz the sourdough bread in a food processor to make a crumb. mix in the rest of the finely diced shallot, crushed garlic, chopped parsley leaves, ham, lemon zest and diced tomato. Add a good glug of olive oil and spoon the mix over the mussels.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with french fries and mayonnaise for a glorious experience.