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


  1. Firstly, make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar and Dijon mustard in a small bowl and season well.
  2. 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.
  3. Discard any mussels that remain open when tapped. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic, carrot, wine and mussels.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Strain the juices through a fine sieve into the mayonnaise, stirring to combine.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the mussel meat from the shells and reserve. Spoon the carrot and onions into a bowl.
  8. 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.
  9. Dress the mussels with a spoonful of mayonnaise, the chervil and dill and serve.