50 mlvegetable oil12large black mussels, scrubbed, beards removed2golden shallots, thinly sliced½garlic clove, thinly sliced200 mlwhite wine250 ml (1 cup)chicken stock1tomato, seeds removed, diced40 gmcanned chickpeas, drainedTo serve:white anchovies (optional, see note)‘Spanakopita’50 mlolive oil½onion, finely chopped1garlic clove, crushed300 gmbaby English spinach80 gmeach of ricotta and feta, crumbled
For ‘spanakopita’, heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté onion and garlic over low heat until soft and translucent (4-5 minutes). Add spinach and cook until just starting to wilt (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer to a colander and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and cool, then add cheeses, combine well and season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add mussels, shallot, garlic and wine, then cover and cook over high heat, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (3-4 minutes). Drain mussels, reserving 100ml cooking liquid and discard any unopened mussels. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold (1 hour).
Preheat oven to 180C. Fill each mussel with a tablespoon of ‘spanakopita’ mixture, then close shells and tie firmly shut with kitchen string.
Heat reserved mussel stock, chicken stock, tomato and chickpeas in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mussels and bring to a simmer, then bake, covered with lid, until heated through (5-6 minutes). Serve immediately with white anchovies, if desired.
Note White anchovies are available from select delicatessens.