Mussels with saffron

Serves 4


  • 2 kg mussels
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Large pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 small dried chilli, finely crumbled
  • 4 large slices of bread, toasted


  • Debeard and wash your mussels, throwing away any that are cracked or that are open and don’t close when you give them a little tap. If there are any barnacles, remove them. If there are any open, give them a good tap and if they don’t close of their own accord throw them away. Since them well and store beneath a wet towel until you need them
  • In a large shallow pan, boil the white wine together with the olive oil, garlic, saffron and chilli for a few minutes until they begin to emulsify. Add the mussels, cover the pan and cook for bout 5 minutes over as high a heat as possible, stirring the mussels once or twice so that they open evenly (discard any that don’t).
  • Serve over the top of toasted bread

Recipe by Alex Mackay and photo by Peter Knab