To quote Hannibal Smith from that 80s show, the A Team, I love it when a plan comes together. And so it was a few days ago. The people from Anthonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek had sent me a bottle of their 2017 Protea Sauvignon Blanc along with a gorgeous tea candle holder made from an up-cycled Protea bottle. It’s late spring, so green and light was what I wanted to cook. Initially I entertained thoughts of scallops with a broad bean puree to pair with this lovely crisp everyday Sauvignon Blanc. And then I saw the price of scallops. Eeeek. A plan B was called for.
Fortunately my disappointment was brief because I soon spotted some micro sorrel. Not just green sorrel, but purple too. Yay. With their dainty leaves, they looked an awful lot like the leaves printed on the Protea wine bottle, so in the basket the punnet went along with some voluptuously plump fresh mussels and farm butter.
Back home I picked a sprig of dill and pretty yellow wild rocket flowers from my potted herb garden, and I whipped up a springtime moules mariniere. In case you don’t know, that’s fancy French for mussels cooked very simply with white wine, a knob of butter, parsley, a squeeze of lemon if you’re so inclined, and maybe garlic. Some folks add cream to moules mariniere. Nothing really wrong with that, but purists would argue (rightly so) that that’s not a proper moules mariniere.
They would probably argue that this version isn’t either, but I love the exotic touch just a bit of dill gives it. The sorrel lends an intense sour citrus tang, so it takes the place of lemon. This is spring on a plate for me, so light and fresh. I love it when a plan comes together.