Tellines Persillade

11 May

We live less than hours drive from the Mediterranean coast and our favourite day trip is to go to one of the beaches, wear ourselves out by running on the sand and jumping in the sea, then head into a port town for a slap up seafood dinner. One of my favourite light dishes, or starters, is Tellines, tiny smooth shelled mollusk with a sweet, soft flesh and bags of flavour. Occasionally I come across Tellines in the fish markets nearer home and this is how one fish monger directed they should be prepared – Delicious!.

  • Tellines (about 250g for 2 as a starter or per person as a main)
  • olive oil
  • garlic, minced
  • parsley, minced
  • dash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 red chilli (optional)

Soak the Tellines in salted cold water for 1 hour. This allows the shells to open and shed any residual sand. Then simply drain and empty into a hot frying pan with a good glug of olive oil, a robust helping of garlic and parsley. For an extra tasty version I like to add a little chilli and a slug of white wine, some cooks add a dash of cream at the end which is also an option. Whatever extras you are adding simply cook the Tellines over a high heat for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan constantly, the shells will open and the Tellines are cooked. Serve with hunks of bread to mop up the juices or on spaghetti, a little fiddly to eat but great.

Caution as with any mollusk discard any that are open before they are cooked and those that are closed once they are cooked, as these ones are well past their best.
Cooks Note Persillade is a mixture of finely minced fresh parsley and finely chopped garlic, the proportions vary between half and half and two thirds to one. Persillade is normally added at the end cooking to season dishes such as: sauteed mushrooms, potatoes, grilled steaks, lamb chops, fresh fish or mixed with butter to add to the shells of snails before cooking.


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