Baked clams are a delightful little appetizer, popular in a variety of cuisines from Italy to New England. Topped with a crunchy coating of breadcrumbs, they're as simple to make as they are elegant. Select smaller clams like littlenecks or cherry stones, which will remain tender through the quick cooking time. Serve the baked clams with lemon wedges or chopped fresh herbs as a garnish.
Things You'll Need
- Small clams
- Garlic (optional)
- Fresh or dried herbs
- Olive oil
- Lemon (optional)
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
Thoroughly rinse and scrub the clams. Pry open the shell and cut away the meat, then place the meat in the more-attractive half of the shell. Make sure the shell is free of any dirt or debris before adding the meat.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oven heats, prepare your breading mixture. You'll need about 1 cup of breadcrumbs for 24 clams. You may use seasoned breadcrumbs, or flavor them yourself by adding minced garlic, finely chopped fresh herbs, or dried herbs. Use about 5 or 6 tablespoons of fresh herbs or 2 to 3 tablespoons of dried herbs for each cup of breadcrumbs. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt, then drizzle with olive oil until the mixture is evenly moistened and resembles a dry paste. You may also add a squirt of lemon juice to taste.
Divide the breading mixture among the clams, patting it down so it stays in place. Place the breaded clams in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about eight to 10 minutes.
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