Yesterday was the second anniversary of my moving this blog here and what could be better to celebrate than a big red bowl full of mussels, bought from the coquillage van from Bouzigues on its Saturday morning visit to the village? After cooking them all in a glass of white wine until the shells had opened, we made two different dishes with them. The first was an adaptation of a recipe in Colman Andrews’s Catalan Cuisine: I cooked some chard leaves, chopped them and added them to the mussels in their half-shells. I made some aioli and added a spoonful of this to each mussel, then put them under the grill until the aioli was bubbling and slightly browned. I wasn’t sure it would work but it did! Colman Andrews uses spinach, adds cream and makes the aioli with roasted garlic. I did try this but it curdled, so I reverted to my usual method with raw garlic crushed with sea salt. I’ll have to make this again, as we ate them so quickly I forgot to photograph them! I did, however, photograph the delicious mussel fritters that Lo Jardinièr made with the rest of the mussels.
He chopped the cooked mussels with a bunch of oregano, then mixed them into a stiff flour and water batter. Then he folded all of that into beaten egg white and fried spoonfuls of the mixture in hot olive oil. Very tasty!