Mussel and saffron quiche with fennel and rocket salad

Mussel and saffron quiche with fennel and rocket salad

British Seafood
David Loftus

This is a lovely way of cooking mussels when you have a bit more time on your hands. The saffron lends a subtle flavour and the fennel and rocket salad provides a crisp, fresh contrast. This recipe also works well with smoked fish in place of the mussels; use 300 g filleted smoked haddock or mackerel.



Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
150g unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk, cold
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons milk, for eggwash


Quantity Ingredient
1kg live mussels, cleaned, (see note)
6 eggs
600ml double cream
250g mature cheddar, diced
2 bunches spring onions, trimmed and sliced
pinch saffron strands
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Fennel and rocket salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 fennel bulb, trimmed
2 handfuls rocket leaves, washed
1/2 lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges to serve
50ml olive oil


  1. To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and salt into a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and milk and pulse briefly until the dough comes together. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Place a large pan (that has a tight-fitting lid) over a medium heat. When hot, add the mussels with a splash of water and put the lid on. Steam for 2 minutes or until opened and then remove them from the pan; discard any unopened mussels. Leave until cool enough to handle, then pick the mussels out of their shells (you should have about 300 g). Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin and use to line six 10 cm, 2 cm deep, loose-based individual flan tins. Line the pastry cases with a disc of greaseproof paper and add a layer of baking beans. Chill for 10 minutes. Bake the pastry cases for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans and brush the inside of the pastry with eggwash. Turn the oven down to 160°C.
  4. For the filling, lightly beat the eggs and cream together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the cheese, spring onions, mussels, saffron, parsley and dill evenly into the tart cases and pour over the egg mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until the custard is set and the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool slightly.
  5. For the fennel and rocket salad, finely slice the fennel, using a mandoline if you have one. Place in a salad bowl with the rocket leaves and dress with the lemon juice and olive oil.
  6. Serve the tarts warm or at room temperature, with the fennel and rocket salad and lemon wedges.


  • Before cooking, check the mussels are in good condition and closed. Tap any open mussels sharply – they will close up if they’re alive, otherwise discard them. Similarly throw away any mussels that have cracked or damaged shells. Pull away the hairy ‘beard’, attached to one end of the mussel. Farmed mussels should only need a quick rinse to clean them without washing away flavour, but if mussels are sandy or dirty you’ll need to give them a more thorough wash or a quick soak in cold water.
British Seafood
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