This zesty salad is inspired by a recipe for a salad popular in Nantucket that appeared in Saveur magazine. It is a perfect way to use cooked mussels that have come about as a by-product of other dishes, such as soups and sauces. If you make the mayonnaise, you can experiment with the variations that accompany the basic recipe.
– 4 cups cooked mussel meats, from about 8 pounds mussels.
– 2 tablespoons olive oil.
– 2 cloves garlic, minced and then crushed with the side of the knife.
– ½ red onion, sliced paper-thin.
– 2 teaspoons coarse salt.
– 1 chipotle chile, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes to soften if dried or rinsed if canned, seeded, and chopped, or 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped.
– ½ cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade.
– 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
– 4 tablespoons capers, drained.
– 1 bunch dill, minced (about 2 tablespoons).
– Leaves from 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped.
Step 1:If the mussels feel gritty, rinse them under cold running water and drain. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir for 1 minute, add the mussels, and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Step 2:In a bowl, sprinkle the onion slices with the coarse salt and then toss and rub the salt into the slices for about 2 minutes, or until the salt dissolves and no longer feels gritty. Transfer the onion slices to a colander, set it in thesink or over a bowl, and let drain for about 15 minutes. Working with a little at a time, squeeze the onion slices in your fists to extract as much liquid and salt as possible.
Step 3:In a salad bowl, combine the mussels, onion, chile, mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, dill, and parsley and stir gently to mix. Season with salt and pepper.