From The Galley: Summertime Grilled Clams - The Fisherman

From The Galley: Summertime Grilled Clams

Clams on the grill are a sure sign that it’s summer in the Northeast!

This simple yet delicious meal is easy to prepare and the perfect way to end a long day on the bay.

A favorite summer pastime of mine is treading (using feet) to dig clams out of the shallow portions of my local bay and throwing those little gems right on the grill with a few additional ingredients, to be enjoyed with a cold drink. When trying this one out for yourself I highly recommend you don’t skip the digging part – half of the fun is digging them out one by one, anything you dig “the day of” will always beat clams you buy in the supermarket or your local fish store.


2 dozen fresh clams (topnecks preferred)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1/4 cup white wine (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 baguette, sliced (for serving)


Rinse the clams under cold water to remove any sand or grit. Discard any clams that are cracked or remain open when tapped.

Set your grill to medium-high heat, around 375 degrees. If using a charcoal grill, ensure the coals are evenly spread and lightly coated with ash.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, but not browned. Stir in the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. If using, add the white wine and let it simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly.

Place the clams directly on the grill grate. Cover the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open. Using tongs, carefully remove the clams from the grill and place them in a large bowl.

Drizzle the garlic-parsley butter mixture over the grilled clams. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the clams. Accompany with slices of baguette to soak up the juices.

For an added smoky flavor, consider adding a handful of soaked wood chips to the grill.

If you prefer a bit of spice, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the butter mixture. Serve with a crisp white wine or a light beer to complement the briny sweetness of the clams.

This recipe is perfect for a summer cookout or a special gathering. The combination of smoky grilled clams and the rich, garlicky butter sauce makes for a delightful and impressive dish that’s easy to prepare and sure to impress your guests. Or even yourself after a long day on the bay.



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