David Piccerelli's Grilled Littleneck Clams with Oregano Pesto
Grilled littleneck clams with oregano pesto is a variation of Clams Oreganata. Try to use littleneck clams no larger than two inches in diameter. If you don’t have access to a grill, this dish may be created under the broiler in your oven. (Be careful not to let the top of the clams burn by placing the clams on a baking sheet and placing the sheet on the lowest rack in the oven.)
NOTE: If you are using a charcoal grill, the clams may be opened and the mixture combined prior to lighting your grill so that optimal heating is achieved. When the grill reaches the appropriate temperature, place the mixture on the clams and head straight to the grill.
SERVES 4 TO 6
- 18 littleneck clams
- 3 large fresh sprigs of oregano
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt to taste (optional)
- Black pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano—Reggiano cheese
- Place littleneck clams in a bowl of warm (not hot) water to facilitate the relaxation of the shell mussel. When the shell begins to open along the seam, carefully slide a small knife into the clam to release the mussel and divide the clam in half. Carefully rotate you knife tip around the inside of the clam to release it entirely from the shell. Place shell halves on a baking sheet. If a shell should crack, transfer the clam to a whole shell.
- Remove the oregano leaves from the stem and chop finely, either by hand or in a mini food processor. In a bowl combine the oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oil, vinegar and cheese. Place 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture on top of each clam. If mixture remains, you may add more to the clams, dividing it evenly among them.
- Charcoal grill users please see note above. Heat your gas grill to about 375F. Place clam shells on the grate carefully. Allow clams to steam in their juice in the shell until bubbling appears. Remove to serving platter and enjoy.
This recipe was featured on Season 16 - Episode 1605.