Lucia Freitas: The star chef of Santiago de Compostela

Lucia Freitas: The star chef of Santiago de Compostela

Galician Mussels in Citrus Escabeche with Red Lentil Soup (serves 4)
By Chef Lucia Freitas (adapted for BBC Travel)

Ingredients for the composed dish:

20 mussels in citrus escabeche (see below for sub-recipe)
300g of red lentil soup (see below for sub-recipe)
120g baby carrots
80g bok choy
40g grapefruit segments
40g blood orange segments
Coriander leaves, carrot fronds and mini-basil (for garnish)
Orange peel, freshly zested (for garnish)

Mussels in citrus escabeche

Ingredients:

2 leeks
3 carrots
3 yellow onions
1 liter of olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 head of garlic, split in half
1 lemon (peel and juice)
10 black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods
1 stalk of lemongrass, slightly crushed to release the flavor
2 makrut lime leaves
15g chopped fresh ginger
15g chopped fresh galangal
150ml dry white wine
250ml apple cider vinegar
25g chilli (smoked paprika)
500g cleaned mussels

Instructions:

Julienne the leeks, carrots and onions. Confit the vegetables in the oil for 20 minutes over a low heat along with the garlic, lemon (peel and juice), pepper, cardamom, lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger and galangal. Once the vegetables are poached, pour in the wine and vinegar to stop the cooking process, and bring the whole mixture to a boil. After it boils, remove from heat and stir in the pepper. Let the mixture stay overnight in the fridge.

The next day, strain the mixture through cheesecloth, reserving the vegetables and escabeche liquid separately. Steam the mussels to open them and extract them from the shells. Add the mussels to the escabeche liquid and let them rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

red lentil soup

Ingredients:

300g red lentils
1 liter vegetable stock
2 tbsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
1 tomato
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
35g fresh chopped ginger
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 dried guindilla pepper
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp Yondu sauce (a naturally fermented, gluten- and lactose-free seasoning made from soybeans and vegetable stock; you can substitute with half the amount of soy sauce)

Instructions:

Cook lentils in the stock, adding the turmeric and bay leaf. Finely dice the tomato, onion and garlic, and sauté in olive oil like a sofrito until lightly caramelised. Add the ginger, cumin, mustard, guindilla and coriander, and cook over low heat for a few minutes. Stir in the pimentón, garam masala and Yondu sauce, then add the lentils and broth. Allow the mixture to cook for 10 more minutes over low heat so that the spices release their flavours, taking care not to burn them. Puree everything in a blender, strain and reserve soup for the plating of final dish.

Assembly and plating of final composed dish:

Puree the reserved vegetables (the ones that were strained out of the escabeche) until creamy. Briefly cook the carrots and bok choy lightly in a pan or steamer and dress them with some of the escabeche liquid. Drizzle ¼ of the vegetable purée into each person’s dish, top with carrots, bok choy and mussels. Add a few slices of grapefruit and blood orange, as well as some coriander, carrot fronds and mini basil leaves. Add some freshly zested orange to each dish and then for one-fourth of the red-lentil soup into each dish.

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