Steamed Clam on Malibu Beach
The first time I remember eating steamed clams was at Gladstone’s on the beach in Malibu on the California coast. The sun was sparkling off the blue pacific and the air was briny and clean.
A galvanized pail arrived like I’d used as a kid to make sand castles on the beach. It was filled with fresh steamed clams and nothing more. With my face over the pail, I breathed in the heavenly aroma. It smelled like the ocean. I’ve been a fan of steamed clams ever since.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Recently I picked up a netted bag of beautiful little manila clams at the Santa Monica Famers Market. They were from Carlsbad Aquafarm in Carlsbad, CA. With a craving for linguine with clams I couldn’t wait to cook them for dinner.
Clams should have a fresh, clean ocean scent when you buy them, not a strong or fishy smell. The shells should be clean, unbroken and tightly closed or close when tapped (as they are alive). I purchase one pound per person. Clams are best cooked within a day of purchase. To store, place them in a large bowl, ice in the bottom, place clams on ice and cover with a damp paper towel.
A Quick and Easy Dinner
In addition to tasting wonderful, cooking clams is fast and easy. You can have dinner on the table in just minutes with a few basic ingredients you probably have in your pantry. They are steamed in white wine with a little oil and herbs. As soon as they pop open they are ready to enjoy.
How to Serve
Serve clams over a bowl of whole wheat or gluten-free linguine (or other long thin noodle) and added garlic toast to soak up the flavorful juices.
Skip the garlic toast to minimize the starchy carbs and be sure to include a big, leafy green salad for balance and to get your vegetables in.
You could also serve the clams over a little brown rice, but it’s not as traditional. A fast and simple dinner. So good, we had it again a few days later.
Note – If you eat gluten-free as we now do, serve clams over brown rice pasta. My favorite brand is Jovial. Find it at better markets and online.