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Cook the cover: White wine mussels with exotic tomatoes

Mussels are one of the most popular shellfish options in South Africa. They are a species of bivalve, which are marine animals classified by having shells that generally divide into left and right halves. Fishing for mussels is restricted by permit regulations and strict management of mussel farms. ‘Mussels are usually farmed through responsible aquaculture, and this method has limited damage to the environment. In fact, being filter-feeders, mussels enhance water quality,’ says Pavitray. Mussel farming involves using suspended ropes in sheltered bays that are seeded with young mussels or oysters. These then develop and grow on the ropes, and feed off particles in the water. Since they are a sustainable local option, light up the braai and prepare our white wine mussels this weekend!

SERVES 6 // COOK TIME 30 min

6 tbsp olive oil
2½ cups exotic tomatoes
1 cup white wine
½ cup fish stock
2 garlic cloves, grated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp origanum
1.5 kg mussels, cleaned
Handful parsley
1 baguette, toasted on the braai

1. Heat a potjie over hot coals. Add the olive oil and 2 cups exotic tomatoes and cook until blistered.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the mussels, parsley and baguette. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 5 minutes, until they are open.
4. Season and serve with extra tomatoes, lemon, parsley and baguette.

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