Small, sweet Manila clams are a fixture on the menu at Renee Erickson’s Seattle oyster bar, The Walrus and the Carpenter. To make a meal of them at home, she adds French green lentils and kale. The clam juices, white wine and crème fraîche create a magnificent broth that’s delicious with grilled bread for dunking.
Slideshow: Quick Fish Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners.
1 cup French green (Le Puy) lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
3 pounds Manila clams or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
3 cups white wine
1 cup crème fraîche
Thinly sliced zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch of Tuscan kale, stems trimmed and leaves chopped
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, garlic, bay leaf and enough cold water to cover the lentils by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain well; discard the garlic and bay leaf.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the shallots and thyme and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the clams and wine, cover and cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, 6 to 8 minutes. As the clams open, transfer them to a bowl; discard any clams that do not open.
Stir the crème fraîche, lemon zest and lemon juice into the large saucepan and season with salt. Add the kale and lentils and cook, stirring, until the kale wilts, about 1 minute. Return the clams to the saucepan and stir to combine. Serve the stew in deep bowls.
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