Moules Marinière with Tomato Dressing and Roast Aubergines

A rich tomato dressing spiked with star anise and vanilla adds an exotic backnote to Jean-Christophe Novelli's classy rendition of moules marinière
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Moules Marinière with Tomato Dressing and Roast Aubergines
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the aubergine

  • 1 aubergine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved with heart removed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • 1 litres tomato juice
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 2 tsp sugar

For the mussels

  • 1 kg mussels
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 banana shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved with heart removed
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • 150 ml double cream

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the aubergine on a square of aluminium foil. Add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and sugar and season well. Fold up the edges of the foil to form a sealed parcel and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the aubergine is soft.

2. Meanwhile, to start the tomato dressing, place all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture has reduced to a thick paste.

3. Meanwhile, wash the mussels and discard any that are fully open. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large hot pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook briefly to soften. Add the mussels and some seasoning, then add the white wine. Cover and cook over a high heat until the mussels open.

4. Remove the cooked mussels from the pan, discarding any that are not open. Place the mussels in a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil, and cover with cling film. Keep the cooking juices warm in the pan.

5. When the tomato dressing has reduced and thickened, remove it from the heat and add a splash of olive oil. Stir in the cooked mussels.

6. To serve, place the roast aubergine in the centre of four warm plates. Spoon the mussels and warmed cooking juices over the top. Drizzle the tomato dressing over the top of mussels, finish with a drizzle of double cream and garnish each plate with a sprig of flat leaf parsley.

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