Mussels in aji panca mustard broth with acorn squash fries and arugula pistou recipe


  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Arugula Pistou
  • 1 cup arugula, blanched
  • ½ cup pine nuts (piñones)
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) ice water
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic puree
  • ½ teaspoon each grated lemon zest and lemon juice
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
For the Acorn Squash Fries
  • 4 ounces duck fat
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • ½ pound acorn squash, peeled, sliced into 8 blocks like thick french fries about 3 inches long
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Large sprig of fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
For the Broth
  • 20 cleaned and de-bearded mussels
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) sparkling wine or dry white wine
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces small heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon aji panca paste
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
  • Radish or arugula sprouts, or small arugula leaves, for the finished dish
How to Make It
    To Prepare the Pistou
  1. Combine the arugula, pine nuts, ice water, anchovy fillets, garlic, and lemon zest and juice in a blender.
  2. With the blender running, pour in the oil in a steady stream until well combined.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve at room temperature for up to 1 hour or refrigerate covered until needed.
  4. To Prepare the Acorn Squash Fries
  5. Warm the duck fat in a medium saucepan almost to the smoking point.
  6. Add the butter, then the squash batons and herbs and reduce the heat to a lightly bubbling simmer. Cook the squash through, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and reserve.
  7. To Prepare the Mussels and Broth
  8. In a medium saucepan, heat the mussels, butter, oil, sparkling wine, and pineapple juice over medium-high heat. Cover the pan for about 3 minutes, then uncover and stir the mixture around. Mussels should open within the next couple of minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and scoop out the mussels with a spider or slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, pop the meat out of the mussel shells, discarding the shells.
  10. Reduce the cooking liquid by about a third to give it a bit more body, then stir in the tomatoes, aji panca, and mustard. Heat through, then add the mussels back into the broth and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Putting it all Together
  12. Spoon a pool of arugula pistou into the middle of each of 4 plates. Place a pair of squash “fries” in the middle of the pistou. Arrange mussels at angles around the squash, spoon on some of the mussels broth with tomatoes. Top with a few sprouts or greens and serve.

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