Marvellous mussels

Three ways with mussels

There are lots of plump juicy mussels about at the moment and while the French moules marinère is tried, tested and tasty, why not try something different with one these mouth-watering twists on the method from around the world?

Three ways with fresh mussels

1. Mussels with Saffron, Spinach and Cream

Mussels with Saffron and Spinach from Olive Magazine

Mussels with Saffron and Spinach from Olive Magazine

For our first recipe we’re heading over the Pyrennees for a Spanish riff on marinere - Mejillones con azafran y espinacas, courtesy of Olive Magazine.

After you’ve cooked the mussels in wine with bayleaf, celery and fresh thyme, you add saffron, spinach and crème fraiche. Perfect for supper or as tapas.

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2. Spicy Catalan Mussels

Spicy Catalan mussels with almond picada from Olive Magazine

Spicy Catalan mussels with almond picada from Olive Magazine

Staying in Spain but heading to the Catalan region of the North East of Spain you’ll find mussels cooked in a rich and spicy tomato sauce.

This second recipe, also from Olive Magazine, starts with opening the mussels in a broth of wine spiced with paprika, chilli flakes and saffron and heady with garlic. Into that you stir a dollop of picada, a pesto-like melange made with almond, breadcrumbs and parsley.

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3. Mussels with Beer and Bacon

Photograph: Marvin Gapultos for Serious Eats

Photograph: Marvin Gapultos for Serious Eats

There are a bucketload of tasty sounding recipes from the States that cook the mussels in beer instead of wine.

This recipe from Serious Eats teams beer with bacon so must be worth a go!

You cook the mussels in beer – they recommend Belgian-style – which has been added to cooked shallot and garlic. When the mussels are done add Dijon mustard and black pepper and serve with crispy fried bacon, a handful of fresh chopped parsley and a hunk of crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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(If you don’t have a US cup measure, use 180ml beer to a kilo of mussels and use 3 large tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.)

Bon Appetit!