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Steamed Clams in a flavorful French style, Tarragon White Wine Broth with fresh peas, served with crusty bread to mop up all the flavorful juices!
Here’s a tasty spring recipe for Steamed Clams in a French-style, white wine tarragon broth studded with fresh spring peas- full of lovely spring flavor! Serve this up as ameal for 2 or a light appetizer for 4-6 people.
Today we are using cockles, which, if unfamiliar are basically tiny little clams- so if you can’t find them- feel free to sub clams or even mussels!
What you’ll need for Steamed Clams
- Clams (Steamers, Cherrystones, Cockles or Littlenecks ) or use mussels.
- White wine
- Chicken Broth (or fish stock)
- heavy cream
- Leeks- or shallots, or white onion
- Peas- fresh or frozen- optional
- Tarragon, or flatleaf parsley- but truly the tarragon makes it.
- Salt and pepper
What to serve with Steamed Clams
Serve the steamed clams with crusty bread to mop up all juices- such a simple, yet satisfying and hearty meal for two.
Grilling the bread adds another layer of smokiness which I really enjoy, elevating, but it’s not imperative..
Fresh spring peas are delicious in this recipe, but again, if unavailable to you, it is totally OK to use frozen.
However, do try to use fresh tarragon, it is so good in this! If you are not sure about tarragon, use half flat-leaf parsley.
On the homefront: (Spring 2016) The stretch of land between San Fransisco and Point Reyes is magical. Tall, swaying eucalyptus trees infuse the air with an otherworldly aroma — earthy, herbal and healing. The ocean is wild and expansive and the mountains this time of year are vibrant green and blooming with wildflowers. Spring is undeniable.
Here, our meals have come primarily from the sea. Fresh oysters, crab, prawns….and these steamed clams with peas and tarragon are among my favorites.
We’ve been spending our days hiking through Mt Tamalpais State Park. My feet ache, my calves are sore, but my spirit feels rejuvenated. Time has slowed and I feel myself coming back to life. Overlooking the ocean, the numerous trails offer breathtaking views.
What is it about being outside in nature that renews the spirit? Walking through the dark woods, climbing peaks, seeing the endless horizon and sunlight streaming through the redwoods, smelling the mossy wet earth and stone, listening to the rushing creek and chattering birds. Perhaps it’s because in these moments of beauty and awe, there is less room for thought, for mindless chatter. I feel still.
As the mind settles, I begin to hear the nuances of the forest. A tiny slithering snake, the flutter of wings, wind moving the branches, the knock of a woodpecker in the distance. A bee. The endless breathing of the ocean, waves rushing to the shore and retreating back.
Happy spring to you. May you find a patch of stillness where ever you are.
More Seafood Recipes you may enjoy:
- Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada)
- Summer Seafood Stew
- Simple Authentic Cioppino Recipe
- Peruvian Seafood Stew with Cilantro Broth
- 20 Simple Healthy Fish & Seafood Recipes
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 2-4 1x
- Category: Main, seafood, shellfish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: French
- Diet: Gluten Free
Steamed Clams with Tarragon, Peas, and lemon in a flavorful white wine broth, served with crusty bread to mop up all the flavorful juices!
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil (or a mixture)
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (two medium leeks, white parts only, or sub white onion, or 2 shallots, diced)
- 4–8 garlic cloves
- 1 cup white wine (dry)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 pounds clams, cleaned
- 1–2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4–1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves ( or sub 1 cup chopped Italian parsley)
- Zest of one small lemon, and a squeeze of its juice, to taste
NOTE: A tiny splash of Pernod would be really good here (at the same time as the wine)
Serve with crusty toasty (or grilled) bread and sprinkle with more fresh tarragon
- Heat butter or oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy bottom pot and cook leeks and garlic until tender and melting, turning heat lower if necessary.
- Add wine and broth and bring to a simmer.
- Add clams (remember they will release their liquid) cover, and let simmer until they have opened up. (Cockles take 5 minutes, clams 8-10 mins, Mussels up to 15 mins). Remove any that haven’t opened and discard.
- Add the peas, cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the lemon zest and squeeze of lemon to taste, and stir in the fresh tarragon or parsley.
- Divide broth and clams among bowls and serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up all the flavorful juices.
Feel free to sub mussels or clams- make sure they are clean, and debearded.
Serves 2 as a meal, or 4-6 as an appetizer.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 345
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 1998.1 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.2 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 36.2 g
- Cholesterol: 85 mg
Keywords: steamed clams, steamed cockles, cockles recipes, spring cockles
Full of flavor, so delicious!
Wow! Spaghetti alla vongole is my favourite meal so this looks right up my ally! I will have to try it.
I read your blog this morning and was warmed by your words; that is where I grew up, wondering wild from the age of 5 to 13. I have spent countless hours with friends and alone hiking every square inch from the Golden Gate to Point Reyes, on the hills and beaches. My dad lived in Bolinas and mom in Muir Beach.
Will try the recipe.
Take care, Kelly
Thanks Kelly, it is a magical place…..how fortunate you were to be able to grow up here! Im jealous. I want to live here.;)