As with most great things, we came across this deconstructed spanakopita by fluke, after having some leftover filling one day. We stuffed it into some mussels and, with chickpeas and tomatoes, a new dish was created. - George Calombaris
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 12 large black mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
- 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- ½ garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 200 ml white wine
- 250 ml chicken stock (1 cup)
- 1 tomato, seeds removed, diced
- 40 gm canned chickpeas, drained
- To serve: white anchovies (optional, see note)
- 50 ml olive oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 300 gm baby English spinach
- 80 gm each of ricotta and feta, crumbled
- 1For ‘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.
- 2Meanwhile, 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).
- 3Preheat oven to 180C. Fill each mussel with a tablespoon of ‘spanakopita’ mixture, then close shells and tie firmly shut with kitchen string.
- 4Heat 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.
White anchovies are available from select delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: A Mornington Peninsula chardonnay, such as the 2006 Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Vineyard. Drink suggestion by Andrew Phillpot