Clams with Samphire and Bruschetta

I love my fishmonger ( Yesterday I was tempted by clams, fresh crab meat from Newlyn (, a pack of his excellent smoked salmon ( and a big handful of particularly fresh and vibrant samphire. Clams and samphire combine wonderfully well in this simple recipe redolent of the sea. Serve with spoon and fork with garlicky bruschetta on the side.

Serves 2, generously

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 20 min

1kg small clams

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil

1 green big chilli

100g young, fresh and tender samphire

2 glasses white wine or rose

handful of flat leaf parsley

4 slices sourdough

best olive oil

Wash the clams in several changes of water, agitating to knock dirt off the shells and encouraging any live, open clams to close. Discard broken shells and those that don’t close after a quick tap. Drain in a colander. Peel, halve and finely chop the onion. Peel, chop and crush 2 garlic cloves. Peel the third clove and set aside. Finely chop the chilli, discarding seeds. Rinse the samphire. Soften the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil in a spacious lidded pan for about 10 minutes then add garlic and chilli. Toss for a couple of minutes then add the wine and simmer for 30 seconds, increase the heat and add the drained clams. Stir or shake the pan, cover and cook for 2-4 minutes, giving the pan the occasional shake, until all the clams have opened. Stir in the samphire and chopped parsley. Toss and serve with toast lavishly rubbed with reserved garlic and splash of your best olive oil.