Mussels marinière

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The simplest way to cook a feast of seasonal mussels is with a little wine, cream and herbs as in this classic French recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1kg/2lb 3oz fresh mussels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream
  • small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • crusty bread, to serve

Preparation method

  1. Clean the mussels by thoroughly scrubbing them under plenty of running water, pulling away and discarding the ‘beards’, the seaweed-like stringy threads. Discard any broken mussels, and any mussels that don’t close tightly when you tap them.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over a medium heat until softened, but not coloured.

  3. Add the wine and turn up to a high heat. As the wine starts to boil, add the cleaned mussels and thyme to the pan. Turn the heat down to low.

  4. Put the lid on the pan and allow the mussels to steam. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, lifting the lid from time to time to check – you will know they are cooked when the shells have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed.

  5. Add the double cream and cook for a further minute.

  6. Scatter with the chopped parsley and serve in deep bowls.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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