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Author Notes: Garlic scapes are like the farmers markets’ gift bows. They look pretty, but once you have them, what do you do with them?
They taste like a cross between a green onion and a mild garlic clove, with a hint of peppery spice. And they happen to be great with steamed clams.
Clams are everywhere in New England. They’re cheap at the store, you might go out clamming yourself, your neighbor might give you some, or heck you might be trying to give them away to your neighbors. When I get a peck of clams, I like choosing easy recipes that can cook in bulk so the clams can be shared. There’s something special about taking the time to pick through the shells to get the meat at the table.
Getting to the bottom of the bowl is like finally getting to the artichoke heart. The broth is my favorite. The scapes add some nice garlicy, peppery flavors to a rich classic dish. Be sure to serve with lots of crusty bread!
—Just Me and The Clams
- 3 pounds littleneck clams
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces garlic scapes (a little more or less is fine)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- crusty bread (for serving)
- lemon wedges (for serving)
- Rinse your clams clean in water.
- Chop the chives into very small pieces. In a large pot or skillet, add these and dump in the butter. Cook on medium heat until the scapes are fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add the wine and wait until it starts to simmer.
- Then add the clams. I like to stir my littlenecks often, and pour the liquid over them with a spoon as they cook. This way the lovely broth gets in the shells as they are only slightly open. Stir frequently until they are open all the way (about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your clams). Discard any negative clams that don’t open at all.
- Then sprinkle the parsley over the clams and stir to combine. Serve with crusty bread and lemon wedges.