Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mussels in Red Pepper & Lemon Vinaigrette

Recipe by Paula.

The bright flavours in these mussels will awaken your palette and are an ideal appetizer for a dinner, party or just to enjoy with a glass of white wine after a long day. As always, adjust the vinaigrette to your taste by adding more or less olive oil. I like mine sharp but you may prefer it milder. Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

2 large red pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 dried red chillies
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 lb fresh mussels, washed and beards removed
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on your taste)
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for garnish

1. Set your oven to broil. On a baking sheet, place peppers and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure each pepper is well coated in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Char the peppers in the oven, turning them until the skin is completely charred. Place peppers in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The steam will loosen the skins. When the peppers are cool, scrape the skins off with the back of a knife and remove the seeds. Chop the red pepper flesh and set aside.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and chilies and cook for another minute. Add the wine and stir. Add the mussels and stir well. Cover and steam over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Allow the mussels to cool down completely. Remove each mussel from the shell transfer them to a bowl. Break the shells in half and keep half the shells for presentation. Store the shells in the refrigerator until needed. 

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the vinaigrette by adding more olive oil, vinegar or lemon to suit your taste.  Stir in the chopped red peppers, onion, parsley and reserved mussels. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally.

4. When you're ready to serve, taste the mussels and adjust seasoning if required. Rinse the reserved shells and place them on a large platter. Fill each shell with a mussel and some dressing. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish and serve with lemon wedges.

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