Hard-Shell Clams With Parsley Pesto

2 cups parsley leaves (thin stems are O.K.), washed

2 dozen hardshell clams (littlenecks or cherrystones), washed and scrubbed.

1/2 clove garlic, more to taste

1/2cup extra virgin olive oil, or more

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or lemon juice


Turn on broiler. Combine parsley with a pinch of salt, garlic and about half the oil in a food processor or blender. Process, stopping to scrape down sides of container if necessary, and adding rest of oil gradually. Add vinegar or lemon juice, then a little water to thin mixture slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Put clams in baking pan with sides and put under broiler. Clams should all open more or less at once, within 10 minutes; remove them as soon as they do to preserve their juices, and put on a plate. Dab each with parsley sauce and serve hot. (Any clams that do not open are safe to eat; open them with a dull knife, or continue to broil a few minutes longer.)

Another parsley pesto: butter, olive oil, pignoli nuts, garlic, salt, pepper

Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 or more servings.

The New York Times (January 31, 2007)