Steamed mussels in pesto flavoured broth

Steamed mussels in pesto flavoured broth

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • Dairy free Fat conscious Health conscious Heart friendly Pescatarian
  • 30 minutes (less if the mussels are cleaned)
  • 10 minutes
  • Fleur du Cap Unfi ltered Sauvignon Blanc 2005


  • 2 kg tightly closed mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 60 ml basil pesto
  • About 150g baby Rosa tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh torn basil leaves, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chunks of baguette, for dunking

Cooking Instructions

Place the mussels, wine and garlic in a large saucepan. Turn on the heat and, when it starts to bubble, cover tightly.
Leave for 4 to 5 minutes on high heat, then check. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Give those that have not opened a second chance – they may take a little longer – but discard those that stubbornly refuse to open.
Using a slotted spoon, divide the mussels between four bowls.
Stir the pesto and tomato into the broth and ladle over the mussels.
Add some torn basil leaves and a grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately, with the baguette for dunking.

Cook’s tip: The important thing about mussels is to check that they are tightly closed before cooking, and to discard any that refuse to open after cooking.

To prepare, simply soak in cold water for half an hour or so before using, then scrape the shells with a small sharp knife and give the beard a good tug to remove.

Today’s farmed mussels are easy to handle and a kind fishmonger will prepare them for you. Take them home in a cooler bag, and use as soon as possible.

Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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