Cretan olive oil & recipes


Rice with mussels (Mithia pilafi)

Serves 4

For preparation:

  • 1.5 kg mussels
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 300 ml water

For the rice:

  • 1 large onion
  • 250 g tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 g long grain rice
  • 150 ml of the mussels cooking water
  • 1.5 dl Extra virgin olive oil “Liohori”
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Clean and thoroughly scrape shells of the mussels, removing their beards. Peel and finely slice the onion.

Place mussels in a wide saucepan with the onion, the peppercorns and 300 ml water. Cover and cook on high heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until mussels begin to open. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve. Discard any mussels that have remained closed, save some whole with their shells. Remove and save the meat of the others.

To prepare rice:

Peel and finely chop the onion, tomatoes and garlic.

In a large pan fry the onion and garlic until nearly transparent.

Add the mussels and briefly sauté them in the oil. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and oregano. Continue cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until thick.

Heat the mussels cooking liquid in a saucepan. When boiling add the rice, stir briefly, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Transfer rice to the pan with the mussels and the other ingredients. Add half of the parsley, a little salt and pepper and the saved mussels and shells.

Leave on low heat a few more minutes until rice is ready. Sprinkle with the rest of the parsley and serve.

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