After our clamming adventure the other day, I set out preparing the haul. I was unprepared for the deep purple insides. These little ladies are stunners. They also taste quite good. In the batch of 72, we had only three that were duds. After soaking them in salt water overnight, I rinsed them and refrigerated them today. They could have used more careful soaking, as they were still sandy. The guide suggested leaving them in a mesh bag in the salt water soak, and flipping the bag every couple of hours. I think I’ll try that next time.
To cook the purple varnish clams, I simply steamed them in about 1/2 cup of local Riesling, a couple of teaspoons of preserved lemon juice (lemon juice would do), a couple healthy shakes of dried thyme, a few garlic cloves and pepper. I removed the clams as they popped open in their bathtub, and we ate the whole bowl for dinner. I accompanied the clams with steamed broccoli, a tossed green salad with garbanzos, local beets, and feta, plus an appetizer of Moroccan carrot purée and pita bread. The clams are absolutely delicious!