With all due respect to the popular French dish moules marinières, this is perhaps the best way to prepare mussels in summer. Refreshing and light, with a tang of vinegar and lime, it’s the perfect starter for a lazy lunch on a hot summer day.
Cold Mussels Salpicón
- 4 lb. (2 kg) live mussels
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) white wine vinegar
- 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves minced
- Fine sea salt
1. Scrub and rinse the mussels under cold water, debearding them if necessary. Discard any that do not close to the touch.
2. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water and the lime juice and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan from time to time and stirring once. Discard any that fail to open.
3. Drain, reserving the stock. Allow the mussels to cool, then open with your hands, reserving the shell half with the mussel flesh and discarding the other half. Arrange the mussels on a serving platter. Place in the fridge.
4. Meanwhile, make the salpicón. Combine the peppers and onion in a glass bowl and add the olive oil, vinegar, parsley and salt to taste. Add 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the reserved mussel stock and mix well.
5. Spoon the salpicón over the mussels and return them to the fridge to chill well. Serve chilled. Serves 4.
Find more than 100 recipes for the simple, unassuming and satisfying food of the Spanish countryside in Rustic Spanish, by Paul Richardson.