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Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos

Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos

Associate Professor
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Mussel and prawn pilafi recipe

Lifestyle — Posted 25/08/15

Fresh seafood, a touch of olive oil, the fragrance of spring onions and parsley... this dish will have you dreaming of a Greek sea breeze.

A favourite family meal of my friend Helen Karikas, created by her mother Vasiliki Patsakos. Vasiliki is married to a fisherman Yiannis who regularly brings home fresh mussels and calamari.

Serves: 6-8


2 kg mussels

1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 bunch (200 g) spring onions

2 cups (400 g) rice

1 kg shelled green prawns, deveined (optional)

1 cup (30 g) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

Freshly milled sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Add enough water to cover mussels in a saucepan, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the mussels open, then set aside in water until cool. Drain, reserving 600 ml stock. Remove mussels from shells, discarding shells.

2. Heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and sauté spring onion until translucent.

3. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until rice starts to become translucent. Add prawns and move around until cooked through. Stir through parsley and cook for 1 minute. Add mussels and stir through.

4. Add reserved stock and 2 cups (500 ml) water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15–20 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Add more water during cooking if necessary.

5. Season with salt and pepper, then serve. 

Recipe from The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, available now from Pan Macmillan Australia

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Tags   Food Recipes Fish and seafood recipes Greek recipes Dinner recipes Prawn recipes
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