- 3 pounds fresh small clams like littleneck or manila
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3-6 cloves garlic smashed and minced
- ¾ cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc preferred)
- 1/3 cup sliced roasted bell pepper or pimento
- 2 thin slices of lemon with seeds removed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling after
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 1 load of crusty artisan style bread (baguette or country boule)
- Pinch of saffron
1. Preheat oven, broiler or grill (preferred) to toast the bread.
2. Wash clams vigorously in cold salted water and discard any clams that won’t close or stay closed. Remove clams from water by picking them out, do not pour them out or you will pour the sand that is sitting on the bottom out with them.
3. Cut the bread into 1.5inch slices. Grill or broil bread until golden brown. You can toast both sides if you wish. Mix 1 tbsp of garlic, and pinch of saffron, and 2tbsp of olive oil and brush the toasted bread. Set bread slices aside.
4. On the stove, in a large heavy bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid (preferably glass) add remaining 6tbsp of olive oil and remaining garlic. Heat on medium high heat while stirring until garlic is almost golden. Immediately add clams, wine, lemons, and peppers. Cover with a lid and let steam until nearly all clams are open, approx. 6-8 minutes. Give the pot a shake every once and a while to settle clams.
Tip: while clams are cooking prepare serving platter for guests – do not forget a bowl for used shells to be placed on the table.
5. Once clams are open pour or ladle the clams and lots of juice over the bread. Top with fresh cilantro, cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.