Party nibbles come in all shapes and sizes and these little mussel and leek tarts bring seafood to the table in a truly delicious and different way.
I grew up in the seaside town of Musselburgh on the east coast of Scotland. A town named after mussels, the seafood bounty that made it famous many, many years ago.
I love mussels and use them in lots of recipes (check out my gorgeous moules frites recipe).
When I was writing my cookbook A Wee Taste Of Scotland all about Scottish party food I wanted to make a recipe using mussels so I called these tasty little mussel and leek tarts my Musselburgh Tarts.
Ingredients for mussel and leek tarts
While Musselburgh was once famed for its mussel beds it is also known for the Musselburgh leek. I decided to marry the two amazing ingredients together for this simple savoury tarts recipe.
10 fresh mussels in their shells. You will know if they are fresh as they should be tightly closed. Toss out any mussels that are open while raw.
A small leek cleaned and sliced into rings.
Half of a yellow pepper which you’ll oven bake and remove the skin then slice. This is to decorate the mussel and leek tarts and also adds another layer of flavour.
Fresh parsley to garnish
Cream to make a sauce for those luscious leeks.
Shortcrust pastry. My recipe for this is in the card below. It is super easy to make your own pastry for the tart cases. But if you really don’t have time or inclination to make your own pastry then by all means use store-bought ready rolled pastry.
How to make mussel and leek tarts
Make your pastry and bake the little tartlets first (see below for full information on this)
Cook the mussels and discard any that don’t open. Remember the rule with mussels is closed to start and open to finish!
Saute the leek and add the cream and seasoning to make a luxurious creamy leek sauce
Fill each of the tart cases with the leek mixture and top with either one or two mussels. This really depends on the size of the mussels.
add a criss-cross of the roasted yellow pepper and then bake these till just nicely warmed through before serving with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley
How many savoury tarts does this make?
I have only made 6 mussel and leek tarts with this recipe. Obviously, you can just multiply the recipe to make as many as you want.
You could always make one bigger tart using the same recipe but just press your pastry into one 15cm tart tin instead of using mini tart tins.
Looking for more Scottish inspired fun party food/appetiser ideas? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I do love hearing from you. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Mussel and Leek Party Tarts
- 1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 small leek cleaned and sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 10 fresh mussels in shells
- 1 large egg
- 150 ml 5fl oz single cream
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 yellow pepper halved & deseeded
- 150 g 5 oz plain/allpurpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 60 g 2 1/2 floz chilled diced butter
- 1 tbsp water
- Make the pastry by rubbing the chilled butter into the dry ingredients to form a breadcrumb like mixture.
- Add enough water to form a dough and wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Grill the pepper until skin blisters, pop into a plastic bag till cool and remove the skin. Cut the flesh into thin strips and set aside.
- Scrub mussels and remove beards.
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and lightly grease tart tins
- Roll out the pastry to 2-3mm thick and using a fluted cookie cutter create circles to fit the tart tins, about 5cm in size. Pop them into the tins and prick all over with a fork. Fill with baking beans and bake blind for 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and take out the beans. Put them back into the oven for a further 4 minutes or until the tart shells are lightly golden.
- Reduce the oven temperature now to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- Heat the oil in a pan and cook the leek for about 10 minutes until soft and begining to brown. then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large pan bring 2.5cm/1" of water to a boil and add 2 tsp of salt, now toss in the mussels and cover the pan. Cook on high for 4 minutes.
- Discard any mussels that have not opened and scoop out the mussel meat from the good ones.
- Beat the egg and cream together and add to the cooked leeks.
- Put a spoonful of the leek mixture on to each tart case, top with a mussel or two (depending on size) and a criss cross of the yellow pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until just firm.
- Garnish with parsley
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