Baked Clams with Pine Nuts and Basil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 pounds quahog clams, shucked, liquid and shells reserved
- 5 pounds cherrystone clams, shucked, liquid reserved
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon melted
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dry vermouth
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pine nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until golden, about 7 minutes. Shake the pan often while baking to make sure the nuts toast evenly. Let cool; finely chop.
Wash and dry 6 quahog shells; set aside.
Coarsely chop clams; in a large bowl, toss clams with pine nuts, garlic, 1 tablespoon softened butter, basil, lemon juice, vermouth, salt, and pepper; add 1 to 2 tablespoons clam liquid. In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Divide clam mixture among reserved shells on a baking sheet; sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.