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Steamed Cockles with Tarragon, Peas and white wine


Steamed Cockles with Peas, lemon and tarragon in a flavorful white wine broth, served with crusty bread to mop up all the flavorful juices! Cockles are tiny clams….feel free to use clams instead!


  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil (or a mixture)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (two medium leeks, white parts only, or sub white onion, or a large shallot)
  • ¾ cup white wine (dry)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 pounds cockles, clams or mussels
  • 12 cups peas ( fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • pepper to taste
  • Zest of one small lemon, and a squeeze of its juice
  • ½ cup sour cream (optional)

NOTE: A 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


  1. Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy bottom pot and cook leeks until tender and melting, turning heat lower if necessary.
  2. Add wine, cream and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Add clams (remember they will release their liquid) cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes until the clams have opened up, and remove any that haven’t.
  4. Add the peas, fresh tarragon, lemon zest and squeeze of lemon and simmer 2 more minutes. Taste adding pepper and more lemon juice if necessary.
  5. For a richer broth, stir in a little sour cream.
  6. Garnish with fresh tarragon.
  7. Serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up all the flavorful juices.


  • Calories: 345

Keywords: steamed clams, steamed cockles, cockles recipes, spring cockles