Scoop, slurp, sip, swirl. Once the guests have arrived, these black beauties are on the table, and the wine is poured, that’s all that will be left to do. Oh. And soak. You’ll need some good bread to soak up those juices. Once you taste it, you’ll know what we mean.
Here’s this weekend’s fresh and splendid lunch sorted. Remember to grab a few bottles of your favourite South African Sauvignon Blanc on your way home on Friday and invite some friends round. 🙂
FRESH MOREISH MUSSELS with FENNEL FLOWERS and LEMON GARLIC BUTTER
For the mussels:
- 1kg whole shell black mussels
½ white onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp chilli flakes
250ml white wine (to cook with 😉
a handful of fresh fennel florets, no stalks
- salt & black pepper
For the lemon garlic butter:
- 100g butter
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- ½ fresh lemon
You will need:
- A pot with a lid, large enough for all the mussels to fit in with space for the fragrant steam to swirl around them as they cook.
- A small saucepan to heat the garlic butter.
- In your large pot, sauté onions on a medium-high heat in olive oil until glassy.
- Sprinkle fennel seeds (not flowers) over the onions and pour in the white wine.
- Reduce heat to medium and bring to a simmer.
- Add fennel flowers and chilli flakes, and a generous grinding of salt and black pepper.
- Stir for a minute to allow the flavours to meet and greet.
- Add the mussels to the pot, put the lid on and set the timer for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a small saucepan on a low heat, melt the butter slowly. Once it is melted but still a creamy yellow (if it’s clear, it’s gone too far), add the garlic and squeeze the lemon juice in. Switch heat off but leave the saucepan on the stove plate for another 2-4 minutes, just to gently amalgamate the flavours of garlic and lemon into the butter. Remove from stove plate and set aside.
- Back to the mussels. After 10 minutes, remove from heat, lift the lid and peek inside. Are all the mussels open? Remove and discard any that have stayed closed.
- Dish mussels up onto a large serving plate, or divide equally into bowls.
- Garnish with fresh lemon, a sprinkling of fennel flowers or fresh fennel sprigs, and carefully pour the gorgeous broth left in the pot over the mussels.
- Serve with ramekins of garlic butter and plenty fresh bread.