Chef Christian Graves, from Jsix Restaurant in San Diego, loves how well the grilled flavor of the mussels pairs with the coolness of the cucumber and the spicy hit of the chiles. He prefers 'Corno di Toro' chiles for his recipe, but you can also use Fresnos.
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch cilantro, ends trimmed, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed
4 Fresno or Corno di Toro* chiles
6 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise
5 breakfast or other small radishes, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Heat a grill to high (450° to 550°). In a blender, whirl together ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, cilantro, oil, salt, and 1/4 cup water until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl; set aside.
Arrange mussels evenly on cooking grates. Grill, covered, until half the mussels start to open, about 2 minutes. Starting with mussels that have opened the widest, quickly transfer them to the large bowl, being careful not to spill juices from inside shells, and continuing until remaining mussels open. (Discard any that stay closed.) Cover bowl with foil to keep warm.
Grill chiles until slightly charred, turning often, 3 minutes. Slice into very thin rings. Grill cucumbers on cut side just until marks appear, about 3 minutes.
Set 2 cucumber halves in each of 6 large, shallow bowls. Spoon mussels and cilantro bath over cucumbers. Sprinkle with radishes and chiles.
*Corno di Toro chiles, often called "bull's horn," are long, sweet Italian peppers sometimes sold at farmers' markets.
Jsix Restaurant, San Diego
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