Make the most of… mussels

The one (and only) bad thing about the arrival of spring is that moreish mussels are off the seasonal menu until September. So, fill up on these juicy morsels while you can.

Make the most of… mussels

The good news is that during autumn and winter this is a seafood in such plentiful supply that even the most ethical eater should have no qualms gorging on them (as long as they’re not dredged from the sea bed; oh, and try and eat ones sourced from the reasonably clean waters of Scotland or Ireland).

Mussels have been food for centuries, but, according to lore, a 13th century Irish fisherman happened across the clever idea of cultivating them when he noticed how they clung to the supporting poles of his fishing nets.

They’re a great source of protein, vitamin B12, zinc, iron and selenium, which is good for the metabolism and the immune system. Don’t be put off by woeful tales of food-poisoning from that one ‘bad’ mussel; as long as you buy ones that have clean, un-cracked shells and smell of brine, and discard the ones that don’t close when you tap them, you’ll be fine.

To clean these health-boosting bivalves, wash them thoroughly, then submerge them in cold tap water – mussels only like sea water, so this process should make them close up. Once cooked (steaming them is best), ditch any with closed shells.

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