Mejillones Con Pipirrana
Pipirrana is a type of salad which originates from Jaén in the Spanish region of Andalucía. It usually includes onion, tomato, green pepper and cucumber but each province in the region seems to have a different version of it. In its simplest form the salad is dressed with olive oil and vinegar then enjoyed with chunks of fresh bread. Alternatively, it can serve as an accompaniment to any number of seafood dishes including grilled mackerel (caballa) in Cádiz or octopus (pulpo) in Málaga. Our version of the recipe consists of a cold dish of mussels covered with the four traditional ingredients of pipirrana and a vinaigrette dressing.
Serves 4 or 6 people as a tapa
- 12 mussels
- 1 medium tomato
- ½ small onion
- 1 small green pepper
- 4cm of cucumber
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
You should start by cleaning the mussels. Remove the beards and clean the outside of the shells – some people like to scrape the shells to get them spotless but I don’t think you need to go to overboard. Throw out any that are broken or that are open and don’t close when you tap them gently.
Now put a small amount of boiling water in a pan and add the mussels. Put the pan on a medium to high heat and cover. Check the mussels after a few minutes to see if they have opened. This may take around 5 minutes. Once they have all opened remove the mussels from the pan and set them aside to cool.
Meanwhile finely chop the tomato, onion, green pepper and cucumber. Mix these in a bowl with the oil and vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Taste this mix as you may want to add more oil or vinegar.
Now remove the mussels from their shells and place each one back on one half of its shell. This makes them easier to eat than leaving them attached to their shells. Put them on a serving plate. Now use a spoon to cover each of the mussels in its shell with the salad mix. Once they are all covered pour the leftover liquid over the shells.