I had this fantastic mussel antipasto when I visited an Italian friend years ago in Venice, while I was in Europe. Since we came to Auckland, this dish has become one of my signature dishes at dinner parties. Thanks to the fat, juicy and tasty New Zealand green-lipped mussels always being available! This is so delicious you’ll want make it all the time.

Ingredients (serve 4)

24 Mussels

1 cup dry white wine

A handful of parsley (Italian flat leaf parsley is preferable if available)

1 large red capsicum

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup white panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon wedges to serve

How to make grilled mussels:

  1. Cut red capsicum in half and de-seed. Slice in strips.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté red capsicum. Cook for 5 minutes until the capsicum is soft. Set aside
  3. Peel garlic and chop them. Chop parsley and cooled capsicum.
  4. Work parsley, breadcrumbs, capsicums and another spoonful of olive oil in a food processor to form a puree. Alternatively, chop all ingredients together by hand on a chopping board- you will have a coarser filling. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Clean mussels. Pour white wine and some parsley stalks in a pan. Bring to boil over high heat. Add mussels and put the lid on. Cook until the mussels open. Transfer them to a large plate. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
  6. Remove the top shell from each mussel. Using a teaspoon, fill the capsicum filling onto each mussels.
  7. Place the filled mussels on a baking dish. Grill under hot heat until the filling is heated through for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tip: You can make filled mussels well in advance and grill them when guests arrive.

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