Marinated Heirloom Tomato & Clam Panzanella Salad

Serves 6-8 people

INGREDIENTS

For the Clams:

5 pounds Little Neck Clams

¼ cup EVOO

½ bunch Parsley stems

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 lg. shallot, rough chopped

1 T. black Peppercorns

4 cups White cooking wine

 

For the Panzanella Salad:

6 cups old crusty, lightly toasted, peasant-style sour dough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 large Heirloom tomatoes, cut into large chunks

¾ cups European Cucumber, seeded and sliced

½ cup red onion, thinly sliced

Zest of 2 lemons

10 large leaves basil, chopped

1 T. Chives, chopped

2 t. Lemon juice

2 T. Sherry Vinegar

2 T. Mustard oil

¼ c. EVOO

2 T. Clam liquid (more if needed)

Salt, pepper & espelette Pepper to taste

PROCEDURES:

For the Clams:

  1. Purge the clams by soaking them in cold running water for about 5 min.
  2. Heat a large rondou over high heat, then throw the clams in dry for a good 2 min. to bring the temperature of the pan back up.
  3. Add the EVOO, parsley stems, garlic, shallot & black peppercorns to the very hot rondou, then lastly, add the wine and put a lid on the pan. 
  4. The point of very high heat and the lid is to create steam so the clams open quickly and don’t over cook.
  5. As the clams open take them out one by one placing them into a bowl.  Reduce the clam liquid a bit, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, cool and reserve the liquid.
  6. When the clams are cool enough to touch, clean them by taking them out of the shell and removing the attaching muscle.  Cool and reserve.

For the Panzanella Salad:

  1. Place the crusty lightly toasted bread, Tomato, cucumber, red onion, lemon zest, basil, chives and clams in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl combine the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, mustard oil, EVOO and about 2 T. of Clam liquid.  Mix, then drizzle over the salad.  Toss the salad and add more clam juice if needed. 
  3. Season with salt, pepper and espelette pepper to taste.