Husband and wife team Taylor and Lindsay bring the perfect combination of sweet and savory to the dinner table. Lindsay is the baker, Taylor is the broiler, and together they make one heck of a meal. Their food blog, Love & Olive Oil, chronicles their culinary adventures in and around the kitchen. As is obvious by the name of their blog, they love olive oil, and recipes like this one they developed exclusively for Olive Oils from Spain.
Steamed clams with mojo sauce is an incredibly quick and easy recipe that is bound to impress. Make these the next time you have guests over and prove that you don’t have to labor in the kitchen all day to produce a delicious, jaw-dropping meal.
Steaming clams is an incredibly easy process, so easy in fact that you find yourself second guessing the ridiculously short cook time, and overcooking the clams as a result (and overcooked clams have a tendency to be rubbery, something we want to avoid).
Set your clams to soak in some cool water to rinse away any residual grit.
While the clams are soaking, make your mojo sauce by quickly pulsing the ingredients together in a food processor. Add a full 1/2 cup of Olive Oil from Spain, and season to taste with salt and pepper as desired. Remember that the clams are salty by nature (you’d be too if you came from the ocean) and so if anything, go easy on the salt to begin with. You can always add more later.
If you’ve never cooked clams before, the process is simple: sauté some garlic and red pepper flakes in a few tablespoons of Olive Oil from Spain. Add a generous splash of white wine and stir briefly to let the crazy sputtering die down. Add the clams, then cover the pan. The steam from the wine will cook the clams; when they’re done, they will literally pop open (seriously, use a glass lidded pan if you have one, it’s fun to watch!) If any of your clams don’t pop open, unfortunately that means they’re duds and should be discarded.
Then, toss the seamed clams with some of your mojo sauce, toss to coat, and serve.
If you can’t find or don’t have access to fresh littleneck clams (I know we often have trouble finding fresh ones in landlocked-Tennessee) you can also use other quick-cooking seafood, such as shrimp or scallops, in this recipe with only minor modifications. Rather than steaming this type of seafood, you want to sauté it in the olive oil and garlic until opaque through the center; both shrimp and scallops will be done in a matter of minutes and you don’t want to overcook them. Scallops should get a nice golden brown layer during that time. Transfer the shrimp/scallops to a clean dish using a slotted spoon or tongs. Then, add 1/4 cup of white wine to the hot pan. Let that reduce a bit, then add back the seafood and toss with the mojo sauce.
Pair your favorite Olive Oil from Spain with a lightly sweet and buttery Spanish white wine. Tip for non-wine-folk: buy something from the same region of Spain as your olive oil. Since they’re grown from the same soil they’ll naturally compliment each other.
This dish is a perfect light meal for two served with a few slices of crusty bread that’s been brushed with Olive Oil from Spain and lightly toasted or grilled. You could also make it work for a crowd by serving it with more tapas-inspired dishes like Spanish papas bravas, and cured meats.
Mojo Clams Recipe
Yield: 2 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes
For Mojo Sauce:
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 pound littleneck clams (about 15-20), rinsed
- Combine cilantro, parsley, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly to chop. Add olive oil and pulse to combine; herbs should be finely and evenly chopped but not completely uniform. Transfer sauce to a bowl and set aside.
- Rinse clams in cool water to remove any leftover grit. Discard any already dead clams (if they are open and don’t close up themselves when tapped on the counter, they are already dead and should be discarded).
- Heat olive oil in a large lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add white wine and stir for about 30 seconds until the sputtering dies down slightly. Add clams, then cover and let steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until clams have popped open. Any clams that remain closed at this point are dead and should be discarded.
- Remove from heat and toss with 1/4 cup of mojo sauce until evenly coated. Divide among serving bowls and enjoy immediately, served with toasted crusty bread and additional mojo sauce, as desired.
Written by Lindsay and Taylor from Love & Olive Oil.