Mussels with piquillo peppers, capers and courgettes

Mussels with piquillo peppers, capers and courgettes

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Use tinned tomatoes, drained of their juice (keep it for another dish), or chop ripe fresh tomatoes. Jarred piquillo peppers are easy enough to find in most supermarkets nowadays. Slippery and sweet-tasting, they are a bright, handy ingredient to have on your shelves – use them in recipes that call for peppers or in harissa. Together with capers and chilli flakes, this recipe for mussels does a fine job of raiding the larder.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2kg mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/2-1 teaspoon chilli flakes
100ml dry white wine, or water
6 jarred piquillo peppers
1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes, drained of juice and roughly chopped
1 large courgette, cut into 2cm dice
salt
freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
1/2 a lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons salted capers (or use pickled capers), rinsed, drained and roughly chopped

Method

  1. Prepare the mussels by removing the beards, washing well in cold water and checking they are all tightly closed. Discard any that don’t close when tapped on a surface or that have cracked or broken shells.
  2. Fry the onion in a wide-lidded pan over a moderate heat with the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 8–10 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and reduce until all but a tablespoon or so of the liquid remains.
  3. Add the piquillo peppers and the chopped tomatoes and cook until the mixture has thickened and any liquid from the tomatoes has nearly all cooked away.
  4. Add the mussels and diced courgette to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook over a high heat for about 3 minutes, until all the mussels have opened and are cooked and the courgette is just tender. Discard any mussels that have refused to open. Check the seasoning of the dish, adding a little salt and plenty of black pepper to taste.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley, a good squeeze of lemon juice and the capers. Serve immediately.
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