Now it is blustery and cold outside I can’t stop eating brothy comfort food, and the great thing about this dish is it is filling yet low in calories. The tender mussels sit in a subtly flavoured sauce of cider, leeks, shallots, garlic, parsley and creme fraiche. There is something quite therapeutic about washing the mussels during the preparation and then messily prizing them out of their shells in order to eat them. Bread (ideally baguette) is essential for soaking the sauce up as you go along and wiping the bowl clean at the end!
This recipe is based on one by Sainsbury’s but I have adapted it slightly. Allow just 25 minutes to make this dish and make sure you have an extra bowl at the table to put the empty shells in!
Please excuse the lower quality photo above – my boyfriend’s camera is away this weekend…
Mussels with cider, leek and shallot sauce (serves 4 with bread)
1kg fresh mussels
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 leek, trimmend and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed/chopped
300ml cider (original recipe specifies Somerset cider but you don’t need to be too specific – just don’t use really cheap stuff!)
1 heaped tbsp lighter creme fraiche
1/2 x 28g pack parsley, chopped
Baguette or bread, to serve
Wash the mussels under cold running water, removing the beards and any dirt. Discard any mussels that are open. Heat a large glug of oil in a pan and add the shallots and leeks. Cook for 5 mins until softened then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Pour in the cider and cook for a further 5 mins.
Tip in the mussels, cover with a lid and cook for 4-5 mins, shaking/stirring occasionally until all the shells have opened. Discard any that remain closed.
Stir in the creme fraiche and half the parsley and season with ground black pepper. Ladle in to bowls and top with the remaining parsley. Serve with bread to mop up the sauce.
Based on a recipe by Sainsbury’s