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Clams with Basil Broth

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Serves four.

  • by Bonnie Jean Gorder-Hinchey from Fine Cooking
    Issue 99

Quick and tasty—but rich and seemingly indulgent as well—these tender steamed clams in an aromatic white wine broth give an ordinary weeknight meal weekend appeal. 

  • 4 lb. littleneck clams
  • 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the clams with a brush under cold water to remove any sand; rinse well. Discard any with cracked shells or open shells that don’t close when tapped firmly against the counter.

In a 5- to 6-quart pot, combine the onion, wine, garlic, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the clams, cover, and steam until they open, about 5 minutes—begin checking the clams early to avoid overcooking.

Transfer the clams to serving bowls, discarding any that don’t open. Stir the basil into the cooking liquid, season to taste with salt and pepper, and pour over the clams. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with plenty of crusty sourdough bread for dipping and round out the meal with a crisp Romaine, Bacon & Tomato Salad with Croutons & Tarragon Vinaigrette.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140; Fat (g): 1.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 10; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): 8; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 360; Cholesterol (mg): 45; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Simple and delicious. I made this for my man and he proposed during the meal. I think that about sums it up!

This is funny....a couple of weeks ago I made this dish. Funny enough, I included exactly the same ingredients that the recipe calls for, although I probably used different amounts. Lots of garlic and onion in my case and a good dose of dry white wine (I used a pinot grigio). I love this recipe because it's been a family recipe for generations. You can also use mussels and would be also delicious. Another substitution would be to use cilantro or parsley instead of basil.

Never really been a big fresh clam fan, however, this recipe changed all that. We served it as an appetizer, and all the guest went crazy over it. The crusty bread is a MUST to take advantage of the wonderful broth. Will definitely prepare again!

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