Pickled mussels with radishes, toasted coriander & apples

Pickled mussels with radishes, toasted coriander & apples

By
From
Gather
Serves
2
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

There is something of Normandy in this fresh salad: a bicycle ride down the Route du Cidre; a peppery-pink radish with delightfully fresh, cold butter; a bowl of plump, yellow wild mussels, cooked in cream on some beach off Gouville-sur-Mer. It’s almost like you taste it in French. This dish is about perfectly cooked mussels, sweet, crunchy apple, and the acidity of good cider vinegar – and how they all play out when they get together. I love the orangey air that toasted coriander seed brings to the delicate pickle – it’s well worth a try. You can prepare the mussels the day before, but I like them best once they have cooled and before they see the fridge.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
500g mussels, cleaned
1 tablespoon good-quality cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon golden caster sugar
2 teaspoons small coriander seeds, toasted
1 dessert apple
4-6 firm radishes,with tops
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Place a large pan over a high heat. Add 100ml water, the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. When the water is boiling hard, tip in the mussels and place a close-fitting lid on the pan. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice, for 1–2 minutes, or until the mussel shells are all just open. Turn off the heat, then drain the mussels into a colander set over a bowl to catch the cooking liquor. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened up.
  2. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells and place it in a bowl, reserving the drained cooking liquor. Add the cider vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds and 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquor to the mussel meat, stir through, then season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, quarter and core the apple and then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges. Divide the apple pieces roughly between two plates. Slice the radish into 2–3mm rounds and scatter them over the apple, along with any radish top leaves, if available. Finally, spoon over the mussels along with plenty of their coriander-spiked dressing, and serve immediately.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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