Our friend Bruno Pérolari from Marseillan first introduced us to mussels grilled over pine needles. He started by collecting a bucketful of long pine needles from an umbrella pine, and placing some fine wire netting over the half of a metal oil-barrel we used as a barbecue. He then brought lemons, glasses,
He put a thick layer of dry pine needles on the netting and arranged the mussels on top, propped against each other in concentric circles, with their hinged sides facing down. Then he covered them with another thick layer of pine needles.
The pine needles were suddenly blazing, they frizzled and shrank and flared, the mussels opened and we ate them, with a squeeze of lemon, burning our fingers and our lips. They were specially good washed down with light local wine.
Bruno also gave us the following amazing salad dressing.