- Serves: 4 (as a starter)
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Effort: medium
- 350 g leaves Swiss chard
- 250 g demerara sugar
- 4 star anise
- 2 lemons, zest only
- 1 kg mussels, cleaned
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2-3 sprigs coriander
- 2 sprigs mint
- pinches dried red chilli flakes
1. Roughly chop the chard leaves and blanch in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, until wilted; drain and leave on one side.
2. Line the base of a sturdy roasting tin or casserole pan with aluminium foil. Place a raised wire rack on top, so that it sits snugly inside the tin. It should be about 10-15 cm above the foil.
3. Tip the sugar into a food processor and add the star anise and half the lemon rind. Process until the sugar resembles a fine powder, before sprinkling over the base of the prepared dish.
4. Scatter the mussels onto the wire rack and cover the top with more aluminium foil. Scrunch the edges down well, so that the aromas will all be sealed in as the mussels cook. Place the tin or pan over a high heat and heat for 6-8 minutes, until all the shells have opened. Open the foil (take care - you'll face an onslaught of smoke!) and leave the mussels to cool slightly. Discard any unopened shells.
5. Shell most of the mussels, reserving 4-6 in their shell as the garnish.
6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the shallots and soften for 2-3 minutes. Toss in the blanched chard leaves along with the remaining lemon zest and the chilli flakes.
7. At the last moment, stir in the mussels and herb sprigs, and toss together. Serve straight away.
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