As the temperatures plummeted outside yesterday, I was craving something light and warming for dinner. With football and a fire planned for the evening festivities, this felt like the perfect dish for us to eat fireside. This simple meal takes less than 30 minutes to pull together so I barely missed a play while steaming the clams in the kitchen. Fennel adds a delightful sweetness to the broth. Serve with some nice crusty bread to sop up all the yummy flavors (yes, I watched with big sad puppy dog eyes as my boyfriend munched on his crunchy bread while I am still on my ‘no-grain’ kick for a few more weeks.)
You can substitute mussels for clams should you desire – or mix it up and include both. I served alongside some very simple but surprisingly delicious eggplant fries which was a worthy substitute for potato fries. It was my first go with eggplant fries and need to tweak my creation a bit but definitely a keeper – recipe as soon as I make another batch!
Have a warm and wonderful Sunday, tutti!!
Littleneck Clams in a Fennel Broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced; reserve fronds
- 1 leek, white part only, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup fish, clam or chicken stock
- 2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
In a large heavy pot, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel, leek and garlic. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for a few minutes. Add in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the clams to the pot. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 6 minutes. If too crowded in the pot, remove clams as they open to a warmed dish and keep warm. Discard any that do not open.
Once all the clams are opened, combine them all back in the pot and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the reserved fennel fronds. Serve right from the pot with crusty bread to soak up all the yummy broth. Buon appetito!