Grilled Mussels with Savoury Breadcrumbs
This tasty dish, called ‘cozze gratinate’ in Italian, is a great addition to a mixed seafood antipasti. It’s also perfect finger food for a large gathering as it’s easy to assemble a large tray in advance, which can be refrigerated and grilled just before serving.
Serves 4 as an entrée
1kg blue mussels, scrubbed
100g stale sourdough bread, diced
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 golden shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (see notes)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Rock salt, for cooking and serving
Place mussels into a wide frying pan. Place over a high heat, cover and cook for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until mussels start to open. As each shell opens, remove to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place bread in a food processor and pulse until it crumbs. Add parsley, shallot, sambal oelek and oil and pulse until well combined.
When mussels are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the top shells, discard any beards, loosen mussel meat from bottom shell and set aside (on the half shell) until needed.
Preheat overhead grill in oven and pour a layer of rock salt onto a baking tray.
Mound bread mixture on top of each mussel on the half shell and place on the baking tray. Place under grill for 3-5 minutes until the topping browns.
Spread some rock salt onto a serving platter, arrange mussels on top and serve.
Sambal oelek is an Asian paste of salt and chillies, a quick way to get a chilli kick into any dish, not just Asian ones; substitute 1 small red chilli finely chopped if you prefer.
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