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Grilled clams on the half shell with garlic crostini

Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres Servings
Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres Servings


  • 1 to 2 cups kosher salt, as needed
  • 24 fresh scrubbed littleneck clams (3.5 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 loaf rustic bread, cut into 1.5-inch slices
  • 6 loaf garlic cloves, peeled
  • 12 loaf diagonally cut 1/2-inch slices andouille sausage
  • 4 loaf lemon wedges
  • Preparation

    Baking Directions:

    Prepare a grill with both hot and medium sections.

    A grill is hot when you can hold your hand near the cooking surface for no more than a count of two before having to pull it away.

    For the medium section of the grill you should be able to hold your hand near the cooking surface for at least a count of four before having to pull it away.

    Cover a large platter with a 1/2-inch layer of coarse salt to hold the clams after opening.

    Open the clams, setting each clam in its half shell on the platter covered with salt.

    The key to shucking clams: You can do it from the front or the back.

    I do it from the front with a sharp knife — it's safer that way.

    I like the littlenecks to be out of the ground for a day since a clam just out of the water is in shock and will fight back.

    Use clams that have had time to relax.

    The salt on the platter prevents the clams from tipping.

    The clams cook — and stay moist — in their own juice, called "liquor.

    " Preserve as much of this flavorful liquid while opening the clams as possible.

    Sprinkle the clams with pepper and drizzle each clam with about 1/2 teaspoon olive oil — don't measure, just drizzle lightly.

    To make crostini, brush the bread slices with olive oil.

    Place the slices on the medium part of the grill.

    Grill until toasted, a minute or two on each side — watch them carefully so they don't burn.

    Rub the grilled slices with raw garlic and sprinkle with salt.

    Cut the crostini crosswise so you have 24 pieces and stack on a platter.

    Grill the sausages on each side until seared and warmed through.

    Transfer to the platter with the crostini.

    Using tongs, place the clams — in their shells — on the hot grill.

    Watch for the liquor and olive oil to boil.

    Allow the clams to boil until they're just cooked — depending on the temperature of the grill, this may be only a minute.

    Err on the side of under-doneness.

    Transfer the clams from the grill back to the platter.

    If they're a shade underdone — a matter of taste — you can always put them back on the grill for a few seconds.

    Serve the clams, sausage and crostini immediately.

    Offer lemon wedges on the side.

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