Serves 2 hungry people
1kg fresh mussels
3 large spring onions
1 large shallot, peeled and halved
1 carrot, peeled and halved lengthways
2 large garlic cloves peeled
1 small bunch of thyme (thin stalks not thick stalks)
Handful flat leaf parsley leaves
100ml olive oil
150ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Tip the mussels into a large bowl of cold water. Discard any that remain open when tapped. Drain and remove any beards. Fresh mussels are black and shiny and should smell pleasantly of the deep sea and the majority should be tightly closed. Chuck out any that smell fishy, look dry or are already open.
Thinly slice the vegetables and garlic.
Place a large, heavy-based lidded pan with a lid, on a high heat. Pour in the oil and add the vegetables and thyme. The thyme sprigs will crackle if the pan is hot enough. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring the vegetables.
With the heat still on high, add the mussels and shake the pan so they form an even layer. Cover with a lid and cook for another 2 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice.
Pour in the wine, shake and cook for another 1½ minutes so the wine reduces by half, then cover again and cook for another minute. Place a large colander over a bowl and tip the mussels and vegetables into the centre. Chuck out any mussels that remain closed.
Return the strained liquid to the pan, reheat and stir in the creme fraiche and parsley leaves. Return the mussels and vegetables to the pan to reheat.
Serve with chips, and a hunk of bread…