Spanish-style mussels in tomato sauce

Mussels are definitely a refined taste – but those who like them really seem to love them. Contrary to popular belief, mussels are really easy to cook and require little preparation.

This serves two adults – 1 kg of mussels per person.

'Spanish-style mussels in tomato sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 45 minutes including preparation
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
  • ½ tablespoon of rice bran oil
  • 1 small to medium Spanish onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of mixed herbs
  • 600-650 grams of tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Small bunch of coriander or parsley (optional)

Serve on a bed of rice or with crusty bread

Sauce

Set a pot on the stove to heat on low-medium. Finely dick the onion and mince the garlic. Add in the ½ tablespoon of oil to the pot, swirl around and then add in the onion, garlic and mixed herbs. Leave on the stove for around 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

Begin roughly dicing the tomatoes and chuck them in the pot with the onion and garlic mixture. Turn the heat up to medium and add the tomato paste, white wine, and chicken stock. Stir on a medium heat until the mixture reaches a boil, and then return the heat to low-medium. Stir occasionally for half an hour. Roughly cut up the coriander or parsley if using; add the fresh herbs of your choice and 1 tsp of cayenne pepper.

Mussels

To cook the mussels, turn the tomato sauce up to a high temperature with a lid on the pot. When it is boiling add the mussels in and replace the lid. Cook for around 3-6 minutes, ‘tossing’ them with the lid on. The mussels are done with the shells have opened.

Grilled Mushroom, Celery and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

Risotto has got to be one of my favourite comfort foods, creamy, rich and full of flavour. However, the same creamy-richness can turn to stodgy for certain palates. This recipe adds some of the celery at the mid-point, to retain its crunch and light flavour, offering a respite from the decadent taste of the rice. We’ve also mixed up the mushrooms: by reserving most of them and grilling them first, you get a wonderful, strong flavour out of the mushrooms.

We served this at a large family dinner for non-vegans, to say it went down well would be an understatement.

Serve with a side salad with plenty of crisp veggies and a light dressing, such as our bruschetta salad. This is a great meal to make on the weekend and keeps well, so could easily be made ahead.

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Grilled Mushroom, Celery and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1 ½ hours
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients
  • 7 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons of powdered chicken stock (Vegan, MSG-free)
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 6 large brown field mushrooms, finely chop 1
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ tablespoon high smoke point oil
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons high smoke point oil
  • 1 leek, halved washed and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped, place half aside
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large bunch thyme
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons savoury yeast flakes

 

Instructions

Heat stock in a saucepan and keep it on a low simmer. Add bay leaves to the stock if using.

Grilled mushrooms

Mix the juice of half a lemon, ½ tablespoon high smoke point oil and ½ a teaspoon of dried thyme together. Cover five (5) of the mushroom with the marinade well and grill or barbeque the mushrooms for three minutes on each side. Roughly chop and cover in a bowl to set aside.

Risotto

Add 2 tablespoons high-smoke point oil to the pan, ensuring that the surface is well-oiled. Add chopped mushroom, leek, garlic and celery. Remove the thyme leaves from the stem by roughly sliding your fingers along the stem while pinching. Add the leaves to the vegetable pan and the stem to the stock.

Cook vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 2 cups of Arborio rice to the vegetables, stirring well. Cook for around three minutes.

Add 1 cup of dry white wine and stir well. Once the wine has been absorbed, add one ladle of stock. Stir in well until it has been adsorbed. Continue this process until you have added around half the stock. This should be around the 15-20 minute mark.

Add in grilled mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and leftover celery. Continue to ladle in stock, stirring well for another 15 minutes or until you have used almost all of the stock. Taste-test your risotto: if the crunch has almost completely gone out of the rice you’re done; if the rice is crunchy, continue to add the remaining stock, stirring well.

Mix in 1 ½ tablespoons of savoury yeast flakes and salt/pepper to taste.