I love summer seafood stews like this, washed down with a glass of crisp white wine. The mussel stock adds a depth of flavour to the dish; mussels really are the treasure of the sea. You can add or subtract whatever seafood you prefer. It's also cracking with bruschetta and a big dollop of aioli or chilli mayonnaise.
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1kg live green mussels, scrubbed and debearded
150ml white wine
1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
200g fish with firm white flesh such as blue-eye trevalla, cut into 3cm cubes
8 large green king prawns, peeled
4 sea scallops
100g clean squid cut into ½-cm slices
2 punnets cherry tomatoes
80g unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
crusty bread, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
2. Roast the tomatoes on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes or until blistered, then set aside.
3. While the tomatoes are cooking, heat 60ml of oil in a large wide saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, which is large enough to fit the mussels*, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for 5 minutes until soft. Increase the heat to high, then add the mussels, wine and saffron with its soaking liquid. And cover with the lid. Cook, shaking frequently for 5 minutes or until the mussels begin to open. Remove from the heat and strain the mussels into a sieve placed over a bowl, and set aside.
4. Season the fish, prawn, scallops and squid with sea salt. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based, deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the fish, prawns and sea scallops and cook quickly to about medium rare, and add the squid. Then add the reserved mussel broth and bring to a simmer. Add the blistered tomatoes and butter and gently stir through. The seafood should be just cooked. Sprinkle the stew with the parsley and add a grind of white pepper.
5. To serve, place the pan on the table with a ladle and bowls for everyone, or serve in one beautiful big bowl to share among guests. Serve with crusty bread on the side.
*If your pan isn't quite big enough to fit the mussels comfortably, you may find you need to cook the mussels in two batches. Simply scoop the first batch of cooked mussels out with a mesh strainer and set aside while you cook the second batch.
Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.