I have just returned from walking St. Columba’s way which goes from St. Andrews on the east coast of Scotland to the island of Iona on the west coast of Argyll. It's a 220 mile pilgrimage between two of our most important Christian centres. The route took me across Mull where after we had pitched our tents, we foraged for mussels and cooked them simply in white wine with onions, garlic and cream. A meal fit for a king! With views over the sea to the islands of Colonsay, Jura and Islay and a clear blue sky, the west coast and Argyll was looking at its best.
If you are not fortunate enough to forage for wild mussels, then it’s easy to buy superb rope grown farmed mussels. On our drive back we stopped and picked up a couple of bags from the Inverlussa mussel farm just west of Craignure on Mull. This recipe makes a dinner party meal of mussels by cooking halibut with it! And if you don’t want guests fiddling with shells you can remove them before you serve the dish.
Recipe for steamed halibut & mussels with white wine and cream:
4 small fillets halibut about 150g each
1 stick celery
sprig fresh thyme
1/4 pint dry white wine
1/4 pint double cream
Recipe by Christopher Trotter
Food photography by Caroline Trotter