When foggy July days in San Francisco make me nostalgic for New England summers, this recipe does the trick. Best at the height of summer, when the cherry tomatoes are bursting with flavor. I first made this for a "grill mania" themed cooking club, so more steps than necessary are done on the grill. You could certainly prepare the whole thing with broiler and stovetop, or just do the last step on the stovetop, but if you want an excuse to spend more time outside, go for the grill! - Ms. T —Ms. T
Test Kitchen Notes
Ms. T’s recipe gives a brilliant summer spin to a classic Mediterranean pairing. By taking things outside to the grill, cherry tomatoes at their peak become smoky-sweet flavor bombs, a perfect foil to the salty chorizo and boozy, briny clams. This is a wonderful recipe for celebrating the last days of summer; not at all fussy, it points you in the right direction, while still leaving room for personal interpretation. Take the clams for instance. Since she does not specify how many clams to use, and I was cooking for two, I used a pound of Manila clams and only one chorizo sausage instead of two (which added enough salt that I did not need to add any more). I also used tarragon, dill and Italian parsley, the herbs I had on hand, with deliciously aromatic and flavorful results. I highly recommend grilling up some extra bread; you will want to sop up every drop. This is an excellent recipe! - gingerroot —gingerroot
6 as a first course
basket cherry tomatoes
slices good crusty country bread
extra virgin olive oil
fresh clams in the shell (I used a mix of Littleneck and Manila, my measurement is approximate)
pat of butter
dry white wine
generous handful of fresh chopped herbs (I used parsley, oregano, thyme)
lemon zest from 1 lemon
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
In This Recipe
Skewer tomatoes and brush lightly with olive oil. Rub bread with raw garlic, brush with olive oil and salt lightly. Cut sausages in half length-wise. Grill tomatoes, sausage and bread over medium-high heat until all are lightly browned/edges charred on both sides and tomatoes are juicy. Remove all from grill and allow to cool slightly.
Chop chorizo into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Mince remaining garlic. Heat 2 tbs olive oil and pat of butter on stove top in heavy iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute lightly. Add chopped chorizo, grilled tomatoes (removed from skewers), and half of chopped herbs. Add wine. Once liquid starts simmering, add clams to skillet, and place entire skillet on the grill (high heat), covering. Stir occasionally.
When liquid is bubbling and all clam shells have opened, remove skillet from grill. Sprinkle with remaining herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Serve right out of the skillet with grilled bread on the side.
A museum marketing professional 8 hours a day, and a gal who's dreaming, drooling, obsessing about food for the other 18 hours. Wait, that doesn't add up to 24? Oh, that's because I'm counting the hours I'm supposed to be working that I dream about food (don't tell my boss).
Several years ago, I started a cooking club with six girlfriends...ten years later...many of our addresses and last names have changed, our palettes have gotten more sophisticated and the wine has gotten less cheap. We now usually sit at dining room tables like grownups instead of on cushions on the floor of studio apartments, and the conversations have shifted with the life stages...but we're still going strong, the food gets better every month, and nothing is more pleasurable than sharing an afternoon laughing, eating, and trading tips on recipes and life.