Grilled Littleneck Clams with Herb Butter

My favorite days have always been those that my parents were off from work in the middle of summer (which is rare in their industry, especially on Nantucket). We would stop at Bartlett’s Farm and  Sandole’s, pick up produce and some shellfish, and go out to my Grandmother’s perfect little beach house, lovingly named “The Shack”. We would spend the day half on the beach and half in the kitchen or in front of the grill (barbecue for you Australians..) and it was absolutely perfect. For me, no day out at The Shack is complete without grilling littleneck clams. I’ve been eating them by the dozen since I was about 3 years old, I certainly don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I’ll be back on Nantucket in 3 weeks…Littlenecks, beware.

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, I prefer the smaller ones
  • 2 stick salted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (coriander), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (is zested a word…?)
  • 2 sleeves saltine crackers

Serves 2-4

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Under running cold water, scrub any sand or dirt that may be left on the clams. Place in fridge until ready to grill.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt your butter.
  4. Add in herbs and shallots, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  5. Once your grill is hot, gently empty your clams over the grates and cover with lid to cook.
  6. You should check on your clams every minute or so as they all cook at different speeds. You will know when they are done when they open completely. Throw away any clams that have not opened by the end.
  7. Serve hot with your herb butter and saltines.

My favorite way to eat these is hot off the grill, into some butter and onto a saltine. Enjoy!

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