Mussels with lovage, celery & cream

Mussels with lovage, celery & cream

By
From
Gather
Serves
3-4
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

I’m particularly taken by lovage before I even taste it – it just sounds good; ‘lovage’ sounds like the place of a love-in where everyone and everything is gorgeous. You might not think it on first taste, but this easy-to-grow plant, although heavily scented, is a versatile herb. I use it a few times in this book: with rhubarb and goat’s cheese, with sweet roast beetroot and wet garlic – and here, with handsome mussels and earthy celery, all indulgently augmented by double cream. It wouldn’t be a love-in without double cream.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 knob butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 celery sticks, sliced into 4–5mm pieces
1 onion, halved and very thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
4-5 lovage leaves, roughly chopped
3-4 tablespoons double cream
1kg mussels, cleaned
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. When they’re bubbling, add the sliced celery. Cook the celery, stirring regularly, for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to soften slightly. Add the onion, thyme and garlic, lightly season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook for a further 3–4 minutes, until the onion is soft but not coloured. Now turn up the heat to high and add the lovage and cream. As soon as the cream begins to boil, throw in the mussels. Stir carefully, then immediately place a tight-fitting lid on the pan. Cook for 2–4 minutes, giving the pan a good shake every so often, until the mussel shells are all just open. Remove the pan from the heat and discard any mussels that haven’t opened up.
  2. You can serve the mussels in individual bowls or leave them in the cooking pot, or transfer them to a large, shallow dish, and bring them to the table that way.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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