Moules a la Garde Freinet


I went to the most amazing village festival a few days ago in La Garde Freinet.  The format was simple; moules et frites!  Moules were being turned in these giant cooking pots with a wonderful aroma of tomatoes, rosemary and cognac wafting around the little square.  These moules were so delicious that I had to try making them back at home and they take around 15 minutes to prepare something that literally makes you feel as if you are on holiday.  I just serve them with a nice butter lettuce with sliced avocado and blanched almonds.  Bon Appetit!


Serves 2


1.4k mussels, cleaned, scrubbed and kept in a large bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes

1 tin of plum tomatoes

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 banana shallots, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

Leaves from 3 rosemary sprigs

4 tbsp water

10 tbsp cognac

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Sea salt and black pepper

Set a large saucepan with a lid to a medium to high heat and then add the olive oil.  Next add the diced shallots and rosemary and mix everything around until the onions have softened (about 3 minutes).  Now add the garlic and stir for 1 minute before adding in the cherry tomatoes and after 2 minutes add the tinned tomatoes.  Break up the plum tomatoes with a wooden spoon and after a 3 minutes add the mussels.  Turn the heat to full whack and pour over all the cognac, salt and pepper.  Stir everything around the pan and cover with the lid for around 5 minutes.  After this time the mussels should have popped open and taste to check the seasoning.  Serve straight away with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Nina ParkerComment