Catch of the day (+ recipes)

By Amanda Laird

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Fresh and flavoursome ways with the ocean's bounty.

Mussels with cider and cream. Photo / Babiche Martens
Mussels with cider and cream. Photo / Babiche Martens

We are fortunate to enjoy an abundance of seafood all year round but as soon as the days and nights warm up it seems to be the obvious food to be eating. Fresh, light, tasty and quick to cook, a few flavoursome additions is all you need and you are away.

Mussels are one of our favourite seafood options, they're full of iron, need little cooking and are cost effective. Add them to a few herbs and garlic along with a splash of cider and cream and you'll have a juicy bowl full that is best served with a spoon and crusty bread to mop up the juices.

The key is to always choose the freshest of mussels which are all tightly closed and without any hint of that discernable dirty water smell which is off-putting to say the least. Also give each a good scrubbing before cooking to make sure the shells are clean. Yank out any beards and, as I found when cooking this recipe, check inside the shells before eating - tiny crabs often nestle in some of the mussels and they're not that good to munch on!

Tuna needs such little cooking for this light and tasty salad. Simply give it a quick sear on a grill then, after resting, slice and combine with a simple salad of rockmelon and crunchy slivers of fennel, paired with fresh mint and a white balsamic dressing. It's fresh and vibrant and all made in 10 minutes.

Scallops are readily available at the moment and are in fine form. Serve them "just" cooked; I prefer them a little underdone and with the roe attached. Some cooks are of a mindset that the roe should be removed and cooked separately. I think it depends how large the roe is on each scallop. It is a personal preference really, but that is the way I grew up enjoying them.

Today we serve the scallops in a salad with sliced baby potatoes cooked in a pan, lemon infused olive oil, toasted pinenuts and currants that have been soaked in a little hot riesling to become soft and juicy. It is piled onto baby spinach leaves and with all the delicious juices from the scallops and currants spooned over the top. The lemon olive oil finishes it off nicely.

- NZ Herald

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