An assortment of herbs, including tarragon, parsley, and chives, gives these simple baked clams from Peter Lo Cascio, a Martha Stewart Center for Living charity winner, their fresh flavor. Serve for a seasonal spring appetizer.
- 24 littleneck clams (about 4 pounds), scrubbed
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons dry white wine or water
- 1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, trimmed
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery hearts
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons anise-flavored liqueur
- 1 large egg yolk
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place clams in a 4-quart pot and add 1 cup white wine or water; cover and cook over medium-high heat until clams have opened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool.
Meanwhile, rinse spinach with cold water; shake to remove excess water but do not pat dry. Place spinach in a medium saucepan; cover and cook over medium heat until spinach is wilted, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cover again; continue cooking 2 minutes more. Drain and let cool slightly. Squeeze spinach to remove excess moisture; chop and set aside.
Remove clams from shells, reserving shells and discarding any clams that remain unopened. Finely chop clams; you should have about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside. Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth and set over a medium bowl; strain clam cooking liquid into bowl and set aside 1/2 cup. Reserve any remaining liquid for another use.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and celery; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add remaining 3 tablespoons wine and bring to a simmer; cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Add reserved spinach and clams; stir to combine.
Cut remaining 8 tablespoons butter into pieces and add to skillet along with parsley, tarragon, chives, breadcrumbs, reserved clam juice, and anise. Add egg yolk and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Fill reserved clam shells with clam mixture; transfer shells to a baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until filling is hot, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
SourceThe Martha Stewart Show, April 2011