Mussels are perfect to serve as an appetiser or as part of a tapas meal. To ensure they remain plump and tender, don’t overcook when steaming them open.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 kilograms mussels, scrubbed
finely grated zest 1 orange
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 finely chopped shallot
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
½ cup olive oil
chipotle sauce, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, halved, seeds removed and diced
2 tablespoons chopped coriander or mint
sea salt and ground pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the mussels. Cover and cook, shaking the pot occasionally until the mussels open. Remove the mussels to a bowl as they open, discarding any that remain closed.
Dressing: Put all the ingredients except the oil, chipotle sauce, tomatoes and herbs, in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Cool. Place in a small food processor or use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Add the oil and season generously, then add the chipotle sauce to taste and blitz again. Tip into a bowl and add the diced tomatoes just before serving.
To serve: Remove 1 shell from each mussel and discard. Check for any small crabs and gently pull out the beard, if still attached.
Place in a large bowl and spoon over the dressing and sprinkle over the herbs. Serves 4–6.