Two ways to cook... mussels
The shellfish is used to make a childhood favourite – creamy mussels on toast,and an Asian-inspired broth.
Mussels take to spices very well, and the combination of green curry and coconut works fantastically well with them. Photograph: Harry Weir
Vanessa's recipe for comforting, creamy mussels on sourdough toast. Photograph: Harry Weir
GARY’S WAY... DONEGAL MUSSELS IN COCONUT GREEN CURRY BROTH WITH PINEAPPLE, SHIITAKE AND SPRING ONIONS
I grew up in Ramelton in Co Donegal and spent most weekends and days off from school walking the local shores searching for wild Donegal oysters, mussels and whelks. Mussels take to spices very well, and the combination of green curry and coconut works fantastically well with them. Shiitake mushrooms are great at soaking up sauce, so they carry plenty of flavour when they fall into the open mussel shells.
It’s key to dice the pineapple and slice the scallions small enough so as to make sure they fit inside the shell. This way, you’ll get the benefit of all the flavours with each mussel.
VANESSA’S WAY... CREAMY MUSSELS TOASTED ON SOURDOUGH
It’s the rainy days that make the best memories. My father’s rainy day holiday activity was mussel picking, in Connemara.
Covered in cuts and grazes, black and blue after a few hours collecting buckets of mussels, we spent the remainder of the day scraping, debearding and poaching mussels in a garlicky broth, and finally grilling them in their shells with a cheese and breadcrumb topping.
Sourdough bread is quite easy to source (or you could make your own). Happily I found sourdough supplied to our village shop from a bakery in Galway, so I don’t hesitate to include it in this recipe.
Scrambling barefoot across rocky kelp strewn shores was not without its hardship, but what a reward we ate.
Keep this recipe in your repertoire for a weekend nibble after an activity filled day.