Makes 2 dozen
- 1 red pepper
- 1 ts. capers
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 T. red wine vinegar
- 1 T minced onion
- 1 T minced fresh parsley
- Sea salt to taste; fresh ground pepper
- 2 dozen tightly closed mussels
- 1 lemon
Roast the pepper over open flame (I use the barbeque), or under the broiler, turning often, until skin blackens. Place pepper in a brown paper bag and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove charred skin, seeds and membranes, and mince 2 T. Reserve rest of pepper for other use.
Rinse capers, drain, and coarsely chop.
In a bowl, blend oil, vinegar, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chopped capers. Set aside.
Scrub mussels, and with kitchen scissors, cut away any beards on the outside of the shell. Do not pull and tug, as it may damage the mussel. Bring two cups of water to a slow boil, and add several lemon slices. Add the mussels, cover, and in a few minutes, begin looking for open shells. As soon as the shell opens, remove with a slotted spoon, until all mussels are open. Discard any that do not open.
When mussels have cooled, remove from water, cut any any beards from the meat, and add all mussels to the vinaigrette. Add minced red pepper. Refrigerate mussels in vinaigrette over night. Reserve half the shells (larger ones are best, unless you have a few really tiny mussels) and store in refrigerator in a plastic bag. Before serving, place a mussel in each reserved shell, and spoon a small portion of vinaigrette into each one.
Serve on a plate, very cold, decorated with fresh parsley. Accompany with good French bread.