"This was one of the first dishes we had on the menu at Ester," says Mat Lindsay. "I suggest putting a mussel and a pickle on top of some freshly grilled bread or a potato chip and dipping it into aïoli - a DIY canapé."
- 1 kg live black mussels, scrubbed, drained
- 4 long green chillies, sliced widthways
- 250 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1 cup)
- 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 250 ml brown rice vinegar (see note)
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1Heat a large saucepan over high heat, add mussels, cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally until mussels just open (2-3 minutes). Drain, remove from shells and debeard. Set aside at room temperature in a heatproof container just large enough to fit all the mussels in one layer.
- 2Bring a saucepan to very high heat, add chilli and dry-fry, stirring occasionally until blackened and blistered in places (1-2 minutes). Carefully add 2 tbsp oil, then garlic and peppercorns. Fry, stirring constantly until garlic is just starting to colour (30 seconds to 1 minute). Add vinegar, salt, sugar and remaining oil to pan, bring to the boil then pour directly over the mussels. Set aside to cool to room temperature and pickle (1 hour).
- 3Serve mussels with aïoli and rye sourdough toast or potato chips.
Brown rice vinegar is available from Japanese grocers and select health-food shops. Pickling liquid leftover after serving can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days – it makes a great salad dressing.
Drink Suggestion: Alessandro Viola grillo, Sicily Drink suggestion by Julien Dromgool