Steamed Clams in Garlic Saffron Broth

Photo: Lisa Hubbard

Littleneck clams are simmered in a broth of garlic, shallots, saffron, and white wine. The clams are served in the broth, which is also a dipping sauce for crusty bread.


  • Large pinch of saffron

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 3 dozen littleneck clams

  • 1 tomato, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper


  1. Crumble saffron into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside to steep.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine, and stir to loosen any bits from pan. Add reserved saffron broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and add clams, chopped tomato, and half the chopped parsley. Stir to combine. Cover, and let steam until clams are opened, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and pepper, and serve immediately.

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