These steamed clams without wine are made in a delicious butter herb broth that is super flavorful. You won’t miss the wine at all! This recipe uses littleneck clams, but mussels are an easy substitute as well.
Reading: how to cook clams besides steaming
Wine-Free Steamed Clams
Also known as the easiest dinner ever. Once I made clams for the first time, I realized I had been missing out for years. These things cook in just 7 minutes? And they let you know when they’re done by opening?! It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Unfortunately most of the recipes out there contain lots of citrus and wine, two potential migraine diet triggers according to Heal Your Headache. Luckily with this recipe for littleneck clams in a wine-free herbed butter broth, you’ll hardly notice they’re sitting this one out.
How to Pick and Wash Clams
The hardest part about clams is getting them prepared for cooking. You can typically find good littleneck clams at your local fish store or in Whole Foods. Your fishmonger should know this, but do not put them in a plastic bag that’s closed up. They’re alive and need to breathe. If you’re not using them right away, I like to keep them in a bowl in the fridge or on ice. I also like to buy these the day of, just to make sure they’re as fresh as possible.
To check if they’re alive, they should either be closed or should close in a few seconds after you give them a little tap on your counter. If there is a large chip in one or if it doesn’t close, just discard it to be safe. I usually only end up discarding about 2-3 at most. If you have more than that, I would let your grocery store or fish guy know and maybe they’ll give you a discount next time (I’ve personally never had this issue with clams specifically though).
To clean them, just scrub them with a bristle brush to remove excess grit and sand. Then gently set them in a bowl of fresh, cold water. Leave them submerged for about 15-20 minutes. Then carefully pull them out (if you dump them then you’ll just pour all the grit/sand they expelled back on them!), and place them on a towel. While they’re submerged, you can prep your pot and start the broth. The whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes!
How Do I Know Clams Are Cooked?
Clams let you know when they’re done by opening! If you find one or two aren’t opening with the others, give them another minute or two to simmer with your lid on. Sometimes if I give them a tap with a spoon, they’ll open. If they don’t open after all of this, just discard them.
What to Serve with Steamed Clams in Broth
The obvious accompaniment to clams is something to soak up the sauce, so any bread you love will go perfectly. Clams aren’t exactly a super hearty dish, but you eat them slowly so they fill you up without having a ton (I mean, and all the bread in sauce helps). I usually get about 2-2.5 pounds for a full meal and my husband usually eats 2 servings, so they serve about 2-3 total. If you want these as an appetizer, they’ll serve about 4-5 people.
A light, green salad pairs perfectly with this dish. I’d use my Italian Herb Dressing with romaine or butter lettuce.