|1/16 oz||crusty bread, for serving|
|2 lbs||littleneck clams, cleaned|
|1 tsp||black peppercorns|
|1/4 tsp||dried thyme|
|12 oz||Sauvignon Blanc|
|1/2 cup||melted butter for serving|
|1/2 cup||chopped celery|
|1/2 cup||chopped onion|
In a large pot sauté the onions and celery in butter over medium low heat until soft. Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and cover. Cook just until the clams open, about 8 minutes. To serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer the clams to a large platter, along with the loaf of warmed crusty bread. Serve with a small bowl of reserved melted butter and a small bowl of the clam broth, both for dunking.
When we were young, we would crowd around the patio table, dripping in our swimsuits, poking each other with our forks, fighting to get to the big bowl of clams and the little cups of butter. Actually, that’s pretty much still what we do. A little less elbowing, but the scene is the same. The steaming platter of clams is fragrant enough to draw a crowd to the table. But over the years I’ve gotten sneaky, and by offering to ‘help’ I invariably get to steal a sweet little clam directly from the pot. Shhh…. don’t tell. Mom always serves the littlenecks with plenty of butter for dipping, as well as a bowl of the cooking broth for anyone who prefers to swish their clams in the fragrant liquid. And a big loaf of warm crusty bread is a must, because there is nothing better than a hunk of bread dipped in the broth. Serve with a chilled glass of crisp white wine, and there is nothing better!