I love clams almost more than any food out there. It's literally the first thing I look for on a menu - and Clam Chowder? Forget it, I'm ordering all of it.
Despite the fact that clams are available all year round and can be found raised sustainably at almost any decent grocery store, they still seem like a summer food. So I'm eating them in September - almost summer, but still on the fringe of not summer.
When you pair them with oranges, they will make a great winter/ early spring dish too. See, I can make clams work any time. Ever.
Because I added orange to this recipe, it seems perfect with DRY Sparkling's Blood Orange. The flavors in DRY Sparkling's Blood Orange pair perfectly with the green olives, fennel, orange, and just a little bit of red pepper flakes. I highly recommend adding a little vodka to the soda, but that's not mandatory.
CITRUS STEAMED CLAMS
with Blood Orange Dry Sparkling
2 lb manila clams
2 cloves garlic
1 orange zest (peeled off)
1 lemon zest (peeled off)
½ cup sliced green olives
1 bulb fennel, sliced
½ cup white wine
½ cup water
2 tbs olive oil
Using a paring knife, carefully remove the skin of the oranges and lemons. Avoid the white pith as much as possible.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and pan sear the garlic, fennel, + zest for 2 minutes in oil.
Add clams and olives to the pan. Then pour in white wine and water. Cover and steam until clams have opened.
Discard any clams that haven’t opened. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
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