RECIPE: Marinated Heirloom Tomato & Clam Panzanella Salad

Bravo Top Chef's Grayson Schmitz shares a salad recipe.

Marinated Heirloom Tomato & Clam Panzanella Salad

Serves 6-8 people


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


For the Clams:

  • Purge the clams by soaking them in cold running water for about 5 min.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • The point of very high heat and the lid is to create steam so the clams open quickly and don't over cook.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • Place the crusty lightly toasted bread, Tomato, cucumber, red onion, lemon zest, basil, chives and clams in a large mixing bowl.
  • 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. 
  • Season with salt, pepper and espelette pepper to taste.