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Sibling Rivalry Clams (serves 6 for appetizers, 2-4 as main course over pasta)

We salivate for steamed cherrystone or little neck clams as an appetizer with pre-dinner drinks or wine, a perfect cold weather grilled treat. Clams are so tasty but they don't ruin your appetite - a light beginning to a festival of food.

My brother Norm works his clam rake for hours in the Great Salt Pond on Block Island, near his summer home, collecting the freshest clams, the perfect size for his mouth watering recipe. Then he buys the other 20 at the local seafood market for this dish. I call it Sibling Rivalry Clams because it pains me to admit his simple recipe is better than mine, better than any. If you like clams you will love these.

2 dozen very fresh clams
1/2 cup good white wine
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


  • Take a 24 inch piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Fold in half for double thickness. Turn up all sides of foil about one inch.
  • Place all ingredients except parsley in aluminum foil. Close and pinch (seal) top and ends of foil so it will not leak, using more foil as needed.
  • Place on covered grill for 15 minutes.

Don't lose the juice as you open the foil. Discard any closed clams. Sprinkle chopped parsley as you serve. Serve alone as an appetizer or over pasta for a meal, using the liquid as the pasta sauce.

Grilled artisanal bread rubbed with olive oil and roasted garlic, dipped in the leftover clam juice, is the perfect accompaniment. Uh oh, there went the diet.


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