Mussels éclade

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Pascal Aussignac shares an enchanting mussels eclade recipe. Explaining the inspiration behind the dish, he says: "Just near La Rochelle, near Ile de Re (South West France), is the home of a classic recipe called Escalade (Eclade). This is traditionally cooked on the beach or in the forest. A large quantity of mussels are placed into a huge dish and then covered with dry pine needles, which are then set on fire. The mussels cook for a couple of minutes from the heat of the pine fire." This recipe allows you to cook it at home and uses fresh pine needles to extract a more intense flavour.

First published in 2015





Confit shallots


Place the peeled shallots in a saucepan with the butter, pine needles and seasoning. Add enough water to just cover the contents of the pan and bring to the boil
Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a cartouche and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. Allow to cool in the liquid and set aside until required
Trim the woody stems off the asparagus and then cut at an angle into thirds
Place a wok on a very high heat and once hot, add the pine needles followed by the mussels, garlic, asparagus, olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mussels begin to open
  • 50g of olive oil, or butter
  • 1 garlic clove, large, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 250g of pine needles, fresh, washed
  • 1000g of mussels, cleaned
  • salt
Remove from the heat and place into serving bowls or pots. Slice the shallots into thick pieces, add to the mussels and serve immediately
First published in 2015

Pascal Aussignac left France with business partner Vincent Labeyrie to champion 'la cuisine de Gascogne' at his restaurant, Club Gascon, in 1998.

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