Steamed Clams Drenched in Butter and Herbs

Steamed Clams Drenched in Butter and Herbs

Joe is Mark’s late father. A fisherman in San Diego from the 1950’s and into the 1980’s, about the time the industry started to go downhill.......... Joe was dearly loved and is still missed by many.

Joe loved clams. He loved all seafood, and he was known as a generous host. Back in the day, as a fisherman in San Diego, Joe was privy to the “talk on the dock” that would reveal the best spots to find the best shell fish that was then easily accessible.

Since Joe loved clams, when he heard that there was a plethora of clams at a certain location in Shelter Island, he wanted some. There were some rules for fishing, even back then. We are not exactly sure of the facts, but Mark remembers that without buying a permit, kids under 12 could take home a bucket of less than 50 clams.

Joe (with Mark’s help) would gather the kids in the neighborhood until they filled the Gremlin, (about 7-8 kids) each armed with a big plastic bucket. At the end of day, they headed back up the hill to their home in Mission Hills with over 350 clams. No one ever asked about it, it was legal.

And then, there was a feast!

Mark's Mom would make the sauce. The bread came from Solunto’s. The neighbors all came over, the kids would play, everyone had a good time and enjoyed the clams. Joe was happy. 

Here's Mark's best re-creation of the recipe, and we added the Lime Thyme because we have it in our garden and it works!

Steamed Clams Drenched in Butter and Herbs
Serves 2 as an appetizer

4 tbsp. butter
3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb. of clams (Littlenecks), rinsed and cleaned
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 small lemon cut into wedges
1 loaf of sourdough baguette

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant but not burned. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high until wine is brought to a simmering boil.

Add clams and cooked covered for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until clams have opened. Discard any clams that didn't open. Add parsley, thyme and chives and gently stir, simmer for 3 minutes.

Transfer clams and broth to a large serving bowl. Serve with lemon wedges and a nice crusty sourdough baguette for dipping in the broth, (bread is NOT optional!).

All clams should be cooked gently to prevent toughening. They are high in protein and they contain fair amounts of calcium and iron, so eat up!

Mark showing me how to eat clams.... I didn't know how, apparently slurping is a major factor in eating clams, the more you slurp, the better they are.......


  1. I like the words "butter" and "drenched" :)

  2. I'm intrigued by your lime thyme!! I haven't heard of that, but will definitely have to see what I can find.
    What a fun story about gathering up all the kids! Wonderful memories.

  3. Yes, slurping is a huge part of eating them. These look amazing, the buttery sauce...mmmhhh

  4. This looks divine!! Lovin it!

  5. You can NEVER have too much butter. Goodness, these look amazing.


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