Mussels ‘spanakopita’

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 12 large black mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 40 gm canned chickpeas, drained
  • To serve: white anchovies (optional, see note)
  •  
  • ‘Spanakopita’
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300 gm baby English spinach
  • 80 gm each of ricotta and feta, crumbled
01   For ‘spanakopita’, heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté onion and garlic over low heat until soft and translucent (4-5 minutes). Add spinach and cook until just starting to wilt (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer to a colander and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and cool, then add cheeses, combine well and season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.
02   Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add mussels, shallot, garlic and wine, then cover and cook over high heat, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (3-4 minutes). Drain mussels, reserving 100ml cooking liquid and discard any unopened mussels. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold (1 hour).
03   Preheat oven to 180C. Fill each mussel with a tablespoon of ‘spanakopita’ mixture, then close shells and tie firmly shut with kitchen string.
04   Heat reserved mussel stock, chicken stock, tomato and chickpeas in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mussels and bring to a simmer, then bake, covered with lid, until heated through (5-6 minutes). Serve immediately with white anchovies, if desired.
Note White anchovies are available from select delicatessens.

Recipe:

GEORGE CALOMBARIS

Photography:

TARA FISHER

Drinking Suggestion:

A MORNINGTON PENINSULA CHARDONNAY, SUCH AS THE 2006 TEN MINUTES BY TRACTOR MCCUTCHEON VINEYARD. , suggested by ANDREW PHILLPOT

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