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.
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;
Seared salmon and whisky dipping sauce
Balmoral (Chicken and haggis) bites
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter 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 finely sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 10 mussels in shells
- 1 large egg
- 150 ml single cream
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 1 yellow pepper halved, deseeded and sliced
- 150 g plain flour all-purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 60 g butter chilled and diced
- 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
Cathie D says
Since Scotland is very much surrounded by the sea it makes sense that you feel that pull!
Although I live very far from any ocean it still makes me happy to see pictures and remember frequent trips to the beach when I was young.
My favorite vacations ALWAYS involve family and beach time
Yes Cathie there is nothing quite like a beach holiday. For me just hitting the beach, any beach feels like a mini break.
Patti S. says
I do not live near an ocean, but I live on Lake Michigan in the US. There is just something about water that is refreshing and renewing. Your pictures were lovely.
Karon Grieve says
A lake is just as good as the ocean for me. I think it is just the whole water and shore thing. It is timeless.
Glad you liked the photos.
Jeanne @ Cooksister says
Oh I LOVE the look of these! Bookmarking them as potential Christmas canapés 🙂
You will love them and SO perfect for Christmas parties.
My family loves mussels so I’m always looking for new simple delicious recipes and this one did not disappoint! It was packed with so many amazing flavours. Thanks for this, its a keeper.
Karon Grieve says
Thrilled that you like these mussel and leek tarts. They are one of my favourite ways to use mussels, just love the combo with sweetness of leeks.