Tug the byssus, or beard, from the mussels and discard any that remain open. Put the mussels in a lidded saucepan, with the cider, shallot and parsley or celery for flavouring. Put the lid on and cook until the mussels open. This takes only a few minutes.
Strain the liquid through a very fine sieve and put to one side. Tip the mussels into a colander and shell them when cool enough to handle. Mix
Steam or stir-fry the greens, and spoon onto plates. Arrange the mussels on top. Heat a well-greased or non stick frying pan, and in it fry the quail eggs, having first carefully cracked them and put them into a saucer or other shallow container, to transfer them to the frying pan. Top each salad with a lightly fried egg and spoon the dressing over the top. Alternatively you can poach or boil the quail eggs.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.