Clams Sauté With Lemon & Fennel

Clams Sauté With Lemon & Fennel

Serves 4 to 6

2 ¼ pounds of small clams (littlenecks or tellines)
2 tablespoons salted butter
½ head of fennel
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 “finely chopped” cloves of garlic
2 lemons (squeeze out the juice)
2 lemons (cut into wedges) for garnish
1 tablespoon pastis or other aniseed liqueur
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 “dried” hot red chile (may be crumbled and seeded)
Fresh ground pepper and salt (sea salt flakes preferred) to taste
2 sourdough banquets or other crusty bread

Place the clams in colander and rinse with cold water; allow them to drain. Slice the fennel into strips and place it in a dish with the juice of 1 lemon. Stir the fennel until it is fully coated with the lemon juice.In a large skillet over medium heat, place the olive oil and butter and lightly stir until the butter is melted. Now, drain the fennel and add it to the skillet along with the chile, garlic, and fennel seeds. Turn the heat to high and stir/cook for approximately 2 minutes.

Place the clams in the skillet and thoroughly mix before turning the heat back down to medium. Cover the skillet and cook for 2 to 5 minutes or until all the clams are opened. Any clams that do not open must be discarded (do not eat these clams).

Finally, turn the heat back up, uncover the skillet, and gently stir to combine the ingredients. To balance the flavors, add the remaining lemon juice, pastis, and salt/pepper to taste.


Diva Tip:

• This dish is best served steaming hot in bowls with lemon wedges and bread to dip for soaking up the delightful juices.



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