A delicious mussel cocktail served with fresh, homemade mayonnaise.


  • for the mayonaise: (makes 300ml (10 fl oz))
  • 2 egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 300 ml light olive oil
  • for the mussels:
  • 2 kg wild mussels (de-bearded and cleaned)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 2 medium carrots (finely diced)
  • 200 ml white wine
  • to serve:
  • 2 little gem lettuce (shredded)
  • 1 cucumber (peeled and finely diced, seeds discarded)
  • few sprigs each of chervil and dill
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Firstly, make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar and Dijon mustard in a small bowl and season well. Very gradually pour the oil into the bowl in a steady stream, whisking it in all the time. This will give a rich, thick mayonnaise.
  • Discard any mussels that remain open when tapped. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic, carrot, wine and mussels. Cover with a tight fitting lid and leave to steam for 5-6 minutes until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed.
  • Drain everything in a colander set over a bowl to catch the juices. Return the juices to the pan and simmer until reduced to about two tablespoons. Strain the juices through a fine sieve into the mayonnaise, stirring to combine.
  • Meanwhile, remove the mussel meat from the shells and reserve. Spoon the carrot and onions into a bowl. Stir the lettuce and cucumber through with two tablespoons of the mayonnaise and check seasoning. Divide this mixture between four serving glasses and spoon the mussels on top.
  • Dress the mussels with a spoonful of mayonnaise, the chervil and dill and serve.

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