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You've probably got dinner tonight all figured out, seeing as it's Christmas Eve and all, but if you don't, this meal -- while we admit, it's no Feast of Seven Fishes -- makes for mighty fine pre-midnight mass sustenance. You'll be hymning your way into the night, tummy lined with rich and garlic-heavy roasted broccoli and wine-soaked clams. And if you have a little room left for a late night cookie with Santa (or a carrot with Rudolph), so much the better!
6 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup whole almonds
4 dozen clams
2 sweet Italian sausages
Fresh crusty bread for dunking
We trust you're a pretty on-top-of-it type, and probably have an onion, garlic, celery, sweet and dry white wine, cream, olive oil, lemons, whole-grain mustard, salt, and pepper lying around. If not, you'll need those, too!
1. For only one teeeny tiny reason, this Dinner Tonight takes a little longer than usual -- the roasted garlic for the broccoli. It needs a little over an hour in the oven to get luxuriously and soft and sweet. But it's a holiday and you're home anyway right? Let it bake while you wrap the last of the presents, or have some eggnog with your neighbors, or do something else similarly, even excessively festive.
2. Once the garlic is finished, crank the oven up a bit and pop in the broccoli (which you prepped as the garlic roasted, right?).
3. Whip up that dreamy dressing for the broccoli and set aside.
4. Turn your attention to the clams. If you've ever worked with clams or mussels before, you know how quickly things go, so now is the moment when you actually have to pay a little attention.
5. Breathe in the steamy goodness of wine and shellfish. Pull the broccoli from the oven, dress, and serve with the clams, their liquor, and (ideally) some good bread for dunking. Maybe it's a feast after all!
6. Cheers! Excellent work, have a candy cane or two and maybe, MAYBE, open one little present. But just one.