Mussel & Potato Salad

This simple salad highlights the earthy flavor of potatoes and the briny succulence of mussels. It is best warm, soon after it is prepared. I like to serve Deviled Eggs alongside and big slices of chilled watermelon for dessert. To drink? Cold pilsner, sour beer, or dry rosé.

Roasted Mussels with black pepper Dry-Roasted Mussels with Black Pepper
Potatoes just dug from ground

Potatoes just dug from ground

For the very best potatoes, with that deep earthy flavor, try to find those that have been dry-farmed. The difference is remarkable.

  • 4-6
  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Cook Time: 15 Min


  • 2 pounds small new potatoes, scrubbed & sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 1 small red onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons best-quality white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


  1. Put the potatoes into a medium saucepan, cover with water by at least 2 inches, season generously with salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on exact thickness. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a wide shallow bowl. Reserve a generous teaspoon of lemon juice and drizzle the rest over the potatoes, along with half the olive oil. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, set a large heavy skillet or a stove-top griddle over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with a little water and if it sizzles immediately, it is ready; if not, heat another minutes or so and test again.

  3. When the pan or griddle is very hot, add a single layer of mussels, which will begin to pop open almost immediately. Agitate the pan or gently move the mussels on the griddle until all have opened. Transfer to a large bowl and continue until all the mussels have been cooked. Let cool until easy to handle and then remove the mussels from their shells and set aside in a small bowl. If any juices have collected in the bowl, pour them through a strainer onto the potatoes. Season the mussels with several turns of black pepper.

  4. Put the onion into a small bowl, add the reserved lemon juice and the vinegar and season with salt. Let rest a few minutes, add the remaining olive oil, taste and correct for acid and salt.

  5. Add the mussels to the potatoes, along with the dressing and the parsley. Toss gently and enjoy right away.

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