NEIL'S RECIPES: CLAMS WITH BACON AND THYME

by Cafe St Honoré in


"I’m using palourdes clams for this recipe. They have a nice sweet taste and are quite meaty. In countries like Portugal and Spain these sweet beauties are highly sought after but are often overlooked here. They’re lovely in a chowder, or a soup as well, but I urge you to try them as a plate to share before a main course. They’re so simple, and so tasty."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango 

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 handfuls of clams, either palourdes or surf

1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

A few sprigs of thyme

2 rashers of bacon, chopped into little lardons or strips

A tablespoon of organic extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

Good salt and pepper

A tablespoon of curly parsley, chopped

METHOD

Rinse the clams thoroughly to remove any grit.

Place a large pot on the hob and turn the heat up high. Add half the olive oil and the bacon. Fry until golden.

Add the clams and garlic to the pot and cover with a lid. Move them around continuously as you cook until all the shells open. Then add the thyme, lemon juice, parsley and season with salt and pepper.

After a few minutes with the heat still on high, the clams should all be open. Now add the remainder olive oil and stir.

Serve in warmed bowls with good bread to mop up all the juice.