Jack Stein’s recipe for mussels with wild garlic


Spring is the perfect time to go foraging for wild garlic in your local area. Its fresh, garlicky smell and pretty white flowers make it fairly easy to spot in woodlands throughout March and April. Both the leaves and flowers are edible, commonly used to make pesto, sauces or soup but Jack likes to pair this seasonal find in a recipe with mussels and Cornish cider. 

Jack says: ‘Wild garlic is finally here, the first shoots are out and this heralds the start of Cornish spring time. Last year we put this dish on at The Cornish Arms where it grows just down the road. This paring with cider and west country mussels from St Austell Bay is as local as a dish can get.’

Serves 4

Ingredients to make mussels with wild garlic

– 1.75kg mussels
– Small handful of roughly chopped wild garlic leaves (replace with spinach if cooking outside of wild garlic season)
– 2 shallots, finely chopped
– 15g butter
– 100ml Cornish cider, or your favourite local drop
– Plenty of crusty bread to mop up the sauce

Method to make Jack’s mussels recipe
  1. Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won’t close when tapped on a board.
  2. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
  3. Soften shallots in the butter in a large pan.
  4. Add the mussels and cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
  5. Add chopped wild garlic and remove from the heat.
  6. Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with plenty of crusty bread.

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