1.5kg (approx 30) mussels, scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons ‘nduja
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped

My current obsession with ‘nduja – the spicy and spreadable Calabrian salami – knows no bounds. I find I’m spreading it on crackers, tossing a tablespoon or two through pasta sauces or even in a toastie. Given the rate at which we demolished these mussels after photographing them for this feature, these may well become your obsession too. ‘Nduja can be found in good speciality food stores and butchers, but if you are struggling to find it try using a soft and spicy chorizo instead. It can be very hot so do use it sparingly.

The crumb is also delicious over oysters or try pressing it over pieces of thick-fleshed fish such as hāpuka or monkfish before baking. If you prefer, you can shuck the mussels rather than steam them open.


1.In a wide saucepan with a lid, steam open the mussels in batches with a little water until they’ve only just opened.
2.Remove from the heat as soon as they snap open.
3.When cool enough to handle, remove one shell, cut the mussel from the muscle and remove the beard (and the tongue, too, if you prefer).
4.Put back into the half shell on a baking tray in a single layer and refrigerate until required.
5.When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200°C.
6.Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and cook gently until softened.
7.Add the ‘nduja and cook to soften for a minute or so.
8.Remove from the heat, add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and parsley and stir to coat.
9.Spoon a small amount on top of each mussel then bake for 10 minutes until the crumbs are golden.
10.Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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