Mussels with charred and pickled cucumber, toasted almonds and curry sauce

Mussels with charred and pickled cucumber, toasted almonds and curry sauce

This simple seafood starter combines mussels with sharp pickled cucumber, crunchy almonds and a creamy curried sauce.
  • Cooking:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Begin by pickling the cucumber the day before serving. Place the water, vinegar and sugar in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to cool. Trim the cucumbers into rectangles, cutting each long side off, leaving you with the 'heart' of the vegetable (the bit with the seeds). Submerge the cucumber ‘hearts’ in the pickle liquor and leave to pickle overnight
  2. Step 2

    The dill oil is also best made the day before. Blanch the dill in salted boiling water for 5 seconds then refresh in ice water. Squeeze out any excess water from the dill and transfer to a blender with the oil. Blitz until smooth, then pour into a fine sieve lined with muslin cloth or a j-cloth set over a bowl. Leave to strain overnight in the fridge
  3. Step 3

    The next day, scrub the mussels clean, removing the beards and discarding any with broken shells or that don't close when firmly tapped
  4. Step 4

    Place a large pan over a medium heat with a dash of oil and add the carrot, celery and onion. Cook for a few minutes until starting to soften, then add the curry powder, cayenne pepper and saffron and cook for a few more minutes
  5. Step 5

    Add the mussels to the pan, stir and turn up the heat then add the wine and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. After this time the mussels should have all opened. Drain through a sieve set over a bowl. Return the collected liquid to the pan and place back over the heat to reduce. Once reduced by half, add the cream and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and season with salt and lime juice
  6. Step 6

    Discard any mussels which haven’t opened and pick the meat from the shells
  7. Step 7

    Remove the cucumbers from the pickle and pat dry. Blowtorch the flat sides until completely blackened. Leave to cool then cut through the centre of each piece lengthways, then again in half to create a total of 8 batons. Place on a tray to reheat
  8. Step 8

    Gently warm the mussels in the sauce and reheat the cucumber in a hot oven for a few minutes. Plate up each baton of cucumber and carefully top with the mussels. Garnish with pieces of almond and coriander cress, then cut open the finger lime and squeeze to get at the 'pearls' within. Scatter some of these pearls on top of the mussels. Pour some of the sauce alongside the cucumber and finish with a drizzle of the dill oil