The dog days of summer are almost behind us folks.
And with Labor Day comes so many rules. No more white pants, no more frosé, no more fun.
I’m not sure I subscribe to any of these. Or, at the very least, I just need a few weeks of transition time to get on board.
And what could be a better transition than using up the last few bottles of blush wine in a pot along with the last of summer’s seafood?
I came across this steamed clams recipe in chef Matthew Dolan’s book Simply Fish, which is full of ideas for sustainable seafood. Due to The Wellness Project Italia, I didn’t get a chance to dedicate August to sustainable seafood recipes, as I did last year. So I’m getting this in under the wire before post-Labor Day rules come into effect.
I don’t always love cookbooks written by chefs, but they’re great for picking up a few techniques I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. This recipe is incredibly simple on paper and something that I’ve made similar versions of countless times (during countless August summer nights). But I’ve always taken the lazy route with my clams.
Instead of throwing a lid on and giving the shells 10 minutes to open, in this steamed clams recipe you must wait and watch for each individual bivalve to pop, then pluck it quickly out of the pan. This ensures that none of the clams gets overcooked and rubbery as they wait for their slow poke comrades to come out of their shells.
It sounds like an annoying task for a lazy cook like myself, but the job turned out to require very little effort. I was also surprised by how fast the first few shells started popping–almost immediately– something I never saw from underneath the lid.
If you are a rule follower and have a few bottles of rosé lying around, I highly recommend you use them up in a big bowl of clams before it’s too late. Like, October.
Happy last weekend of summer ya’ll! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out my Fall Book Tour dates. CHICAGO is first! I’d love to hang with you.
From one healthy, rosé-loving hedonist, to another,
Rosé Steamed Clams with Leeks
There’s no better use for leftover rosé from the summer season than this steamed clams recipe! You can use any white wine as well, but September is the perfect month to soak up the last drops of rosé while also staying warm on brisk nights with a steaming bowl of clams. Adapted from Simply Fish by Matthew Dolan.
- 2 pounds manila clams or cockles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups dry rosé
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (or parsley), roughly chopped
Place the clams in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soak for 10 minutes while you begin prepping your meal. Right before you’re ready to cook, remove the clams with your hands and return them to the colander. It’s important to leave the sandy water in the bowl!
In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the oil. Sauté the leeks, shallots and garlic over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and season with salt.
Add the clams to the pot and stir for 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and stand at attention! Simmer the clams over medium heat and the second one opens, pluck it from the pot to a serving bowl. Once all the clams are out of the pot, and any that don’t open are discarded, add the lemon juice and oregano or parsley leaves to the cooking liquid. Pour the sauce over the clams and serve with crusty bread on the side.
My favorite gluten-free baguette for serving is this one.