The primary ingredients to this dish are foraged (Baker Beach for mussels and Temescal for greens), so as long as I can rustle up the other ingredients and a burner, I’ll be sitting pretty post-apocalypse. The wild mussels were foraged and thus, quite “rustic” making it virtually impossible to clean them thoroughly and necessitating cooking and taking them out of the shell before consuming, so I decided to fry them. The below recipe serves 3-4 as an appetizer.
- 1 pound fresh mussels, rinsed and scrubbed as best you can
- 1 cup cornmeal, medium grind
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons high heat oil, such as grapeseed or coconut
- 1 lemon wedge (can use a slice from dressing, below)
- Foraged greens, such as dandelion and sow thistle tossed with lemon-olive oil dressing (Combination of juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard for 1 cup greens) - I like a lot of greens, but whatever is best for your preference of fried mussel:green ratio
Boil mussels in a large pot of water (rolling boil) for about 7 minutes, or until mussels open. remove mussels from shell, drain any excess water, and set aside. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Meanwhile, mix cornmeal with paprika and salt on a plate. Dip mussels in beaten egg a few at a time, then toss in cornmeal mixture to coat.
Heat oil on medium-high. Once oil is hot, add mussels and brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove from oil, place atop wild greens tossed with dressing, drizzle with squeeze of lemon, and sprinkle with paprika.
Serve with aioli, if desired.