Stewed Mussels, chickpea cake, berbere aïoli, harissa tomato sauce

Adapted by
April 2018


Chickpea Cake
Yield: 12 cakes
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Ground black pepper
4½ cups chickpea flour
1 tablespoon salt
Harissa Tomato Sauce
Yield: 5 cups
grapeseed oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ tablespoon harissa
½ teaspoon Urfa biber
½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
½ cup dry white wine
Two 750-gram boxes Pomí tomatoes
Berbere Aïol
Yield: 3 cups
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon berbere, toasted
2 cloves garlic, microplaned
lemon juice
1½ cups sunflower oil
Pickled Smoked Jalapeño
½ pound smoked jalapeños, deseeded and diced small
1½ cups Champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
Pickled Pears
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup Champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vandouvan curry
½ teaspoon berbere
2 pears, peeled and diced small
Coarsely chopped chives
Pear Butter
Yields: 2 cups
2 cups pear brandy
½ tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 pound butter, tempered
Yield: 6 cups
grapeseed oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
8 to 10 pounds mussels, beards removed
Chiffonade parsley
lemon juice
To Assemble and Serve
Oil for deep frying
chickpea flour
lemon juice


For the Chickpea Cake

In a pot, combine garlic and onion powders, rosemary, black pepper, and 2 quarts water. Bring to a simmer and whisk in chickpea flour. When combined, use a wooden spoon to continue mixing until fl our is cooked but mixture is not gummy. Season with salt. Pour mixture onto a half-sheet tray lined with a silicone mat; spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and press another half-sheet tray on top; weight with a #10 can. When set, unmold and use a round cutter to punch out 12 portions.

For the Harissa Tomato Sauce

In a pot, heat oil and sweat onion and garlic. Add harissa, Urfa biber, black pepper, and bay leaf. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes and cook until thick. Transfer sauce to a food processor and pulse until combined and smooth. Keep warm. 

For the Berbere Aïoli

To a food processor, add yolks, vinegar, salt, berbere, and garlic; season with lemon. Blend while streaming in oil. If too thick, add a splash of water. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate. 

For the Pickled Smoked Jalapeño

In a saucepot, combine all ingredients. Simmer until mixture is consistency of syrup. 

For the Pickled Pears

In a saucepot, combine wine, vinegar, sugar, vadouvan, and berbere. Simmer until the sugar dissolves; cool completely. Pour into a nonreactive container with pear, some chives, and Pickled Smoked Jalapeños. 

For the Pear Butter

In a saucepan, combine brandy, salt, honey, and lemon zest and juice. Bring to boil, reduce by half, and cool. Transfer to food processor with butter. Process until combined and smooth. Chill.

For the Mussels

Into a large pot, heat oil and sweat shallots and garlic. Deglaze with wine, add mussels, and cover. When mussels open, remove from pot, remove meat from shells, and set aside. Bring the liquid to a boil, add Pear Butter, and reduce until thick. Return mussels to pot, coat with sauce, and season with salt, parsley, and lemon. Keep warm. 

To Assemble and Serve

Bring a pot of oil to 350°F. Coat Chickpea Cakes in chickpea fl our and fry 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and season with salt and lemon. On the center of a plate, spread a little Harissa Tomato Sauce. Top with a Chickpea Cake. Arrange about 6 Mussels on cakes. Sprinkle with Pickled Pear and Pickled Smoked Jalapeño. Finish with dots of Berbere Aïoli.