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Student Suppers: Mussels with Sundried Tomato Pesto & Kale
This post was created in partnership with Sacla’. Mussels and kale are amazing right now, and they just happen to be really cheap, and two of my favourite foods. Bring the whole thing together with some free-from tomato pesto (or use regular green pesto for a herbier flavour, it’s up to you), slowly softened onions and a splash of white wine, and you just so happen to get a stupidly speedy and addictive weeknight supper (that just so happens to be gluten and dairy free) that is so much more than the sum of its parts.
While I typically go for green pesto when I’m stirring it through pasta or rice (have you tried my Roasted Tomato & Mushroom Pesto Rice made with Sacla’s free-from classic pesto, which, like the pesto, is dairy, gluten and wheat free), tomato pesto is what I reach for when I’m saucing a dish. You’ve got vibrant greens and tender, juicy mussels, but it is the burst of sunny flavours from the pesto that really make this dish perfect for cold January days. I may or may not have sat down after taking these photos and used a mussel shell to scoop it all into my mouth straight from the pan! I’ve always used Sacla’s pesto (best one you can get in a jar as far as flavour and versatility is concerned), and I actually prefer the free-from once for sauces and recipes, rather than the original. My old flatmate Chris had been buying the free-from classic pesto for a year before I asked him why he chose that one rather than the Sacla’s standard pesto – it turns out he had no idea he had been, and had not noticed any difference in the taste! You can find Sacla’ as pretty much the standard in most free-from sections/ supermarket aisles, or online.
As ever, the measurements below serve one, but you can easily fit enough to serve two into a big casserole dish like this Le Creuset one I’m using. Instead of doubling it, just add 200g more mussels and another handful of kale. This is best served straight away and only speedy if you have everything ready before you start cooking, so be sure to chop your onion and chop/ de-stem your kale (I find if you buy pre-chopped supermarket bags you have to take time to remove all the hard bits of stem) before you start.
This naturally gluten free dish is great as a really, easy one pot weeknight with vibrant kale, juicy mussels and a rich sundried tomato pesto.
Glug Light Oil
1/2 Small White Onion, finely chopped
2 Large Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch Sea Salt
Generous Splash White Wine
400g Mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 Very Large Handful Curly Kale, chopped
2 tbsp Sacla’ Free-from Tomato Pesto
Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan or casserole dish over a medium low heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook until the onion and garlic have softened, but not started to brown.
Splash the white wine into the pan and cook for a minute.
Stir in the mussels, and put the lid on the pan, turning the heat down to low.
Once the mussels have just started to open, take off the lid, add the kale and toss the whole lot around in the pan. Return the lid until the mussels have fully opened, and the kale has softened.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the pesto until everything is combined, and serve immediately.
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