West Coast mussels with white wine, leeks, lemon
Serves four to six
Prep and cooking time: 30min
- 30ml olive oil
- 30ml butter
- One small bunch leeks, finely chopped (white parts only)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Half a bottle white wine (Chenin Blanc is ideal)
- 1.5 – 2kg cleaned fresh black mussels
- 125ml fresh cream
- Rind of one lemon, finely grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh herbs, to serve (parsley and dill pair nicely)
Rinse the mussels under cold tap water to clean them. Scrub the outsides if they are a little hairy, then pull off the grassy “beard” from the pointy side to the round side. They are now ready for the pot. Remember, any mussels that won’t close before cooking must be discarded. And any mussels that won’t open after cooking, can also be tossed.
In a wide heavy-based pot or casserole, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Fry the leeks and garlic until soft and translucent, but not too brown.
Add the wine, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Add the mussels all at once and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil again and steam for five to eight minutes until they are open and just-cooked.
Add the cream and heat through, then take off the heat and add the lemon rind.
Season to taste with salt and pepper (some mussels can be very salty already, so be careful).
Serve pipping hot scattered with chopped herbs and warm crusty bread to dip in the leftover sauce.