Mussel Toasts with Pickled-Carrot-and-Coriander Butter
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
A dish of sake-steamed mussels with fermented carrots was chef Viet Pham's inspiration for this starter.
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium carrot, very thinly sliced
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 24 large mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- Six 2-by-3-inch rectangles of country bread, toasted
- 6 paper-thin slices of lardo (optional)
- In a saucepan, toast the coriander seeds over low heat until fragrant. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of water and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the brine is warm. Stir in the carrot slices and let stand for 1 hour.
- Drain the carrot, reserving the pickling liquid. Transfer the carrot and 1 tablespoon of the pickling liquid to a blender. Add the butter and cilantro and puree. Pass the butter through a fine sieve into a bowl and season with salt.
- In a saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook just until they open. Drain and remove the mussels from their shells. In a bowl, toss the mussels with the olive oil and chives.
- Spread some of the carrot butter on the toasts. Top with the mussels, drape the lardo on top and serve.
The zippy acidity of Muscadet makes it a no-brainer with mussels.