Mussels, again, and the last broad beans

mussels-0

Having mussel-loving family staying over the past few days meant buying them in quantity on Thursday and Saturday, both times the van calls in the village each week. One cooking method was simple, a brasucade de moules cooked over a vine wood fire in the garden. Just clean the mussels and put them in a large wide pan with garlic cloves, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs or any other herbs you have. Cook them until they have all opened and then serve them in the pan for everyone to help themselves.

mussels-2

For another meal, indoors this time, I adapted my already adapted version of Colman Andrews’s recipe (the one where I used chard leaves instead of spinach). Having cooked the mussels in a glass of white wine until all the shells had opened, I made some aioli and chopped a large bunch of oregano, fresh from the garden. I put a small spoonful of chopped herbs in each half mussel shell, followed by a spoonful of aioli.

mussels-1

I put them under the grill for a few minutes until the aioli puffed up a bit and browned slightly then served the mussels with lemon wedges.

mussels-3

And a simple broad bean purée

We picked the last of our broad beans a few days ago. We’ve had an excellent crop this year – broad bean plants seem to be one of the few vegetables that have done well in our wet late spring – and we’ve frozen a lot of them for the winter. They do freeze very well. I saved some of this last picking to make a purée for spreading on toasts as an accompaniment to apéritifs. When the beans were cooked I removed the skins from the beans – this is something I rarely do, but it was necessary for making a purée. Then I whizzed them up with a clove of garlic, a few fresh mint leaves and some olive oil. It was a lovely spring green colour and tasted nice and fresh.

bean purée

11 thoughts on “Mussels, again, and the last broad beans

  1. Such a delicious post you’ve shared with us. We’re just beginning to see broad beans in the farmers markets and your season has ended. I thought of you Friday evening. I’d bought mussels at the fishmonger and was in the process of making mussels marinara when I wondered what you would have done with them. Well, now I know – and my marinara suffers in the comparison. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your family’s visit.

    • Thank you, I had a lovely time with my son and his partner – the time always goes too quickly! I’m sure your marinara was wonderful. I always think my favourite mussels dish is whichever way I’m eating them now! Note that I left out the mint leaves when I was writing the bean puree recipe late last night – not essential, but they did add an extra fresh flavour. I’ve now added them to the post.

  2. I just used up some of my final harvest of broad beans in a similar preparation, only my puree included lemon juice and cumin. It’s one of my husband’s favorite fava (broad bean) dishes. He would also be salivating over the mussels. Me, I’m so so about mussels, but some of the best ones I’ve ever tasted were at a restaurant in Avignon oh so many years ago.

    • I like the sound of your broad bean puree too, with lemon and cumin. Note that I left out the mint leaves when I was writing the bean puree recipe late last night – not essential, but they did add an extra fresh flavour. I’ve now added them to the post.

    • Yes, it must be strange – I can’t imagine living more than 30 kilometres from mussel beds now! Note that I left out the mint leaves when I was writing the bean puree recipe late last night – not essential, but they did add an extra fresh flavour. I’ve now added them to the post.

  3. Great mussels! it’s reminded me of something I once saw, where a light bonfire of twigs was lit over a huge quantity of mussels – it burnt out really quickly and the mussels were perfect.
    The broad beans haven’t even come out here yet – I’m hoping the farmer will have some on Sunday…

  4. This looks so delicious! I am a bit nervous about cooking mussels but I never thought of grilling them on the BBQ, seems much easier. The lemon is a nice touch too, I always think if a type of butter sauce with mussels, so lemon will be great to try!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s