Oleana's Fried Mussels with Turkish Tarator Sauce
Tarator is a traditional Turkish sauce made from almonds.
1/2 cup untoasted blanched almonds
2 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup corn starch
3/4 cup flour
1-1/4 – 1-1/2 cups lighter-bodied beer (e.g., pilsner)
4 doz. Prince Edward Island mussels
1 cup dry white wine
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic (for simmering mussels)
3 Hungarian peppers, cut into small chunks
4 – 6 cups canola frying oil
8 hearts romaine lettuce
2 Tbs. lemon vinaigrette
2 tsp. fresh parsley
2 lemon wedges (for squeezing over the top)
Combine the almonds, garlic, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and water in a blender and blend until creamy and viscous. Set this tarator sauce aside.
Add equal parts corn starch and flour to a mixing bowl. Slowly add beer while continuously whisking, until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Simmer mussels in white wine, onions, celery, and garlic for approximately 5 minutes until the mussels open. Remove from shells.
Chop peppers into small discs, and add peppers and mussels to beer batter. Coat each piece and carefully drop into frying oil.
When mussels and peppers are golden brown and begin to float, remove from oil.
Arrange romaine hearts on a plate and drizzle with lemon vinaigrette.
Place mussels and peppers on top of lettuce leaves.
Pour tarator sauce over the whole dish and top with fresh parsley and lemon juice.
Serves: 4 to 6
Cassie Kyriakides Piuma is the chef de cuisine at Oleana, a restaurant in Cambridge inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean. She shared this recipe with us when she was featured as our guest on Neighborhood Kitchens.
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