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Baked Clams

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.

  • Servings: 24
Baked Clams

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April 2011

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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