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Mussels éclade

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 45 mins

Difficulty: Easy

Difficulty

For the mussels:

  • 1kg mussels, cleaned
  • 250g pine needles, fresh, washed
  • 1 garlic clove, large, thinly sliced
  • 16 asparagus spears
  • 50g olive oil or butter
  • salt
For the confit shallots:
  • 10 small shallots, peeled
  • 150g butter
  • 200g pine needles, fresh, washed
  • water
  • salt
  • pepper

Evoke flavours of south west France with this reinterpretation of the classic Escalade by Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon. Traditionally cooked on the beach or in a forest clearing, a large quantity of mussels are placed in a huge dish and covered with dry pine needles, which are set on fire. The mussels cook for a few minutes from the heat of the pine fire. This recipe allows you to recreate it at home using fresh pine needs to extract an intense flavour.

1. Place the peeled shallots in a saucepan with the butter, pine needles and seasoning. Add enough water to just cover the contents of the pan and bring to the boil.

2. Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a cartouche and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. Allow to cool in the liquid and set aside until required.

3. Trim the woody stems off the asparagus and then cut at an angle into thirds.

4. Place a wok on a very high heat and once hot, add the pine needles followed by the mussels, garlic, asparagus, olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mussels begin to open.

5. Remove from the heat and place into serving bowls or pots. Slice the shallots into thick pieces, add to the mussels and serve immediately.

Ingredients

For the mussels:

  • 1kg mussels, cleaned
  • 250g pine needles, fresh, washed
  • 1 garlic clove, large, thinly sliced
  • 16 asparagus spears
  • 50g olive oil or butter
  • salt
For the confit shallots:
  • 10 small shallots, peeled
  • 150g butter
  • 200g pine needles, fresh, washed
  • water
  • salt
  • pepper

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