What we really love about this recipe is that it can easily be adapted to cook in your potjie on the beach, at the braai – wherever your fancy takes you. And a South African summer just isn’t the same without at least one seafood get-together.
SERVES 4 // COOKING TIME 20 min
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp thyme leaves
800g fresh mussels, cleaned
330 ml cider
1 cup cream
Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
Salt and peppe
Parsley, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme. Fry until the vegetables are soft but not coloured, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the mussels and cider. Cover the pot and steam for about 7 minutes, until all the mussels have opened. If a few don’t open, toss them.
4. Heat the ciabatta in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the mussels from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the cooking liquid, keeping the flavoured cider and discarding the vegetables.
6. Turn up the heat to medium and bring the cider to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the cream and lemon juice and season.
7. Pour this sauce over the mussels, garnish with parsley and serve with warm ciabatta and lemon wedges.