1 kg (2 ¼ lb) live mussels
Half cup (120 ml) olive oil
1 onion, grated
Half cup (4) finely chopped scallions (spring onions)
1 ¾ cups (350 g/12 oz) long-grain rice
Half cup (15 g) finely chopped fresh dill
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Scrub the mussels under cold running water and pull off the "beards." Discard any with broken shells or that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped.
- Put them into a large pan, pour in half cup (120 ml) water, cover, and cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until the shells open.
- Immediately remove from the heat and drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard any mussels that remain shut. Strain the cooking liquid through a cheesecloth- (muslin-) lined strainer into a measuring cup and add enough water to make up to 3 cups (750 ml).
- Pour into a pan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan.
- Add the grated onion and scallions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, then pour in the hot cooking liquid.
- Season with salt, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the dill and mussels and season with pepper.
- Cover the pan with a cotton dish towel and put on the lid. Turn off the heat and leave the pan on the burner (hob) for 5 minutes to fluff up the rice.
- Serve sprinkled with lemon juice and cayenne pepper.