Focaccia mussels

Focaccia Bread and West Coast Black Mussels

“Focaccia Bread is a beautiful and versatile Italian Style Flat Bread, generously seasoned with Oryx Desert Salt & Pepper as well a Good quality local Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The focaccia bread makes a perfect partner with Steamed West Coast Mussels – truly heaven on a plate”  Chef Angie Boyd

Recipe by Chef Angie Boyd and Chef Peter Ayub of Sense of Taste Chef School


  • 500g                    White Bread flour
  • 15g                       Fresh Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons       Oryx Desert Salt
  • 2 teaspoons       Oryx Pepper
  • 400ml                 Water, cool
  • ½ cup ml            Good Quality Local Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Generous Glug of Good Quality Local Extra Virgin Olive Oil for kneading and for serving

Optional Flavouring/Toppings: (these are few – there are plenty more)

  • Black Olives
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Oryx Desert Salt
  • Crushed Garlic
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Parmesan Cheese


  • Dissolve the yeast with half of the water.
  • Combine the flour and 1 teaspoon of Oryx salt and 1 teaspoon of Oryx Pepper in a large bowl and mix through well.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the yeasted water, the remaining water and olive oil into this well.
  • Draw the flour into the well to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly Olive oiled surface and knead for about 10 mins to form a soft, smooth dough.
  • Cover the dough with Clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
  • Knock back and shape into 2 flat rectangles and place onto an olive oiled sheet.
  • Allow to prove for 30-40 minutes or until doubled in volume.
  • Gently press your fingertips into the surface to form dimples. Sprinkle with the 2nd teaspoon of Oryx Salt and Pepper, some more olive oil, Basil and olives.

Oryx Focaccia Bread.

  • Bake for about 20-30 mins or until browned and hollow-sounding when tapped.
  • When serving – scatter some fresh basil leaves onto the bread, give another sprinkle of Oryx Salt and Swirl of Olive Oil


West Coast Black Mussels

“West Coast Black mussels are so underrated and under-used in recipes. Fresh Mussels are so good, delicious, nutritious, virtually fat free for those who are watching the calories and so inexpensive. And they are firmly on the Green List with SASSI – so sustainable and definitely form part of the ethical eating ethos!

Known as the “poor man’s oyster” Mussels can be added to seafood soups or stews, rice dishes or are simply delicious steamed in white wine, garlic and parsley.

If you are living the Cape – make a day of it and go and forage for your supper along the west coast and collect fresh black mussels off the rocks on the shoreline. Remember you need a permit to collect mussels and always check reports for Red Tide or as scientists call its “red water” – this refers to toxic micro-organisms that are ingested by the mussels.

Of course not everyone can go forage so then chat to your local fish monger to get fresh west coast mussels. Even up country Fresh mussels are obtainable, again speak to your local fish shop or deli. Chef Peter Ayub

Chefs Tips on Cleaning and Initial Cooking for most recipes

How to Clean Mussels

  • Scrub the outer shell with hard nail brush under running water
  • Then place your mussels in a bucket of sea water, this keeps them alive for several hours ( if you don’t have sea water – tap water with a good handful of Oryx Fine salt mixed in)
  • While in the sea water, the mussels expel any sand or grit
  • Place the mussels into a large colander and rinse with fresh water
  • Using a sharp knife scrap off any barnacles and seaweed
  • Any mussels that appear damaged or are broken or open discard
  • And lastly remove the “beard” – pull it like you would unzip something. Sometimes the “beard” stays fast, then leave it until after you have steamed the mussels and you can easily pull it off

Simply Steamed Mussels (best way to enjoy the mussels)

This is for about 5 to 6 kg of West Coast Black Mussels

  • Once cleaned and washed
  • Get a large pot, pour in ½ cup of white wine and 1 teaspoon of Oryx salt & 1 teaspoon of Oryx Pepper
  • Add a cup of chopped celery, a cup of chopped onions, a cup of chopped coriander
  • Put on a high heat, once liquid is bubbling, put the mussels into the pot
  • Put the lid on and give the pot a few shakes and steam the mussels to cook them – about 6 minutes
  • Keep all the open mussels – discard any that remain closed
  • Serve immediately – tuck in with the Focaccia bread – to soak up all those gorgeous juices!


Sense of Taste chefssense-of-taste-logo-jpg