Chef's Recipes

Mussels ‘spanakopita’

Australian Gourmet Traveller Greek recipe for mussels ‘spanakopita’ by chef George Calombaris from Melbourne restaurant The Press Club.

By George Calombaris
  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus chilling
Mussels ‘spanakopita’
Mussels ‘spanakopita’

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
  • 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


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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).
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180C. Fill each mussel with a tablespoon of ‘spanakopita’ mixture, then close shells and tie firmly shut with kitchen string.
  • 4
    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.


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

  • Author: George Calombaris