Vacay in the mediterranean from your home with this flavourful creation by our partner Chef Bertrand Cheo. 

This recipe was contributed by Chef Bertrand Cheo of Twitterbert. A premier F&B Kitchen Consultancy Service.

Serves 4 l Prep Time 1 hour l Cooking Time 2 hours     





1 cup French bread (1/4-inch)

2 tsp shallots, minced

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned

½ cup oven-dried tomatoes, julienned

1 tbsp basil, julienned

6 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp capers, rinsed



900g mussels (large)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

3/4 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced

2 sprigs thyme



2 cups fennel (dice 1/2 inch)

1 cup olive oil

3 sprigs thyme



1 tsp olive oil

1 shallot, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup mussels cooking liquid

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup aioli

1 large egg

Pinch saffron threads




- Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

- To make the stuffing, toss the bread dice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium bowl and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Set the bowl aside. Bake turning with a spatula once or twice, for about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the shallot and garlic over the bread, stir with the spatula and bake for 2 minutes more, or until the bread is crisp and golden.

- Return the bread to the bowl, add the tomatoes, capers and the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and toss until well mixed. Set aside to let the bread cubes absorb the juices.

- To cook the mussels, heat the olive oil in a large sautŽ pan or saucepan, add the shallot, garlic, thyme and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, stir to coat with the oil, then add wine. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the mussels have just opened, shaking the pan and stirring to make sure the mussels are cooking evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl. Discard any unopened mussels.

- Strain the mussel liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. Stuff the mussels with ½ to 1 teaspoon of the tomato-bread mixture, depending on the size of the mussels. Place stuffed mussels on a small rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.



- Combine the fennel with the oil and thyme in a small casserole or saucepan. Bring to a low simmer on the stove. Cover and bake in a 180ûC oven for about 20 minutes, or until the fennel is very soft. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and reserve the oil for another use.



- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, saffron and cook for 30 seconds or so. Add the mussel cooking liquid and cream, increase the heat and bring to a boil (watch that it doesn't boil over). Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid has reduced to 1/2 cup.

- Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan and whisk in the aioli and egg yolk. The sauce may be made 1 hour before serving and gently reheated over low heat when ready to use. Be careful because reheating can cause it to break or separate.



- Place a 4-inch ring mould in the centre of the dinner plate and pack it with 1/4 of the fennel salad. Carefully remove the ring mould and repeat with 3 more plates. Place 5-6 mussels on top of the fennel and drizzle with any liquid left in the warming pan. Spoon the sauce around the plates, sprinkle with the basil, and top with a salad of your choice.