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Mark Hix's Seashore salad

12 FEBRUARY 2013
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Dish type: salad, starter

Serves 4

Ingredients

150–200g cockles or surf clams, cleaned
150–200g mussels, cleaned
50ml white wine
4 medium scallops, shelled and cleaned
A couple of handfuls of sea vegetables, such as small leaves of sea beet, samphire, sea purslane, sea aster and wild fennel, trimmed of woody stalks and washed
2–3 tbsp freshly picked white crab meat other seafood, such as cooked lobster, prawns etc (optional)
4 oysters, shucked and left in the half-shell

For the dressing
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp cider vinegar
4–5 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the cockles and mussels in a pan with the white wine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a high heat for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan every so often until they open.

Tip into a colander, reserving the juices; discard any molluscs that remain closed. Strain the liquor through a fine-meshed sieve into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Halve the scallops, lay in a small dish and pour the hot liquid over them; leave to cool. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and blanch whichever sea vegetable you are using for 20 seconds, then refresh under the cold tap.

For the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, cider vinegar and rapeseed oil together with a little of the liquid from the scallops and season to taste.

To serve, remove half of the mussels and cockles from their shells. Arrange together with the sea vegetable(s) and the rest of the shellfish, except the oysters, on individual plates or one large platter. Spoon over the dressing and sit the oysters on top.

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