Clams with a Garlic & Nut Picada

Recipes Oscar and otto, Images Alex Spodyneiko

Clams with a Garlic & Nut Picada

With its large coastline, seafood is a key aspect of Spanish cuisine. Clams are a popular tapa dish. This moreish dish is simply a combination of steamed clams with a delicious picada (herby, ground nut sauce).


Serves 4

1kg clams

For the picada:

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup blanched almonds (or why not try macadamias for a local twist?)

4 tbsp olive oil

2–3 slices crustless white bread

4 garlic cloves

leaves from 4 small sprigs of flat leaf parsley


 Heat frying pay and dry roast pine nuts for 1 minute, almonds for 2 minutes. Leave to cool. Fry the bread in 2 tbsp olive oil for 1 minute each side until crisp and golden brown. Cool.

Break fried bread into a food processor, add nuts. Process to the fineness of coarse sand. Add the parsley and garlic with remaining 2 tbsps olive oil, processing into a thick paste.

Wash clams in cold water, discarding any that don’t try to close when squeezed. Put a large pan with a lid on high heat. Add clams and 4 tbsps of water, covering and cooking for 1–2 minutes. Shake the pan every now and then until the clams have just opened.

Remove the pan from the heat, uncover and slightly tilt so that cooking juices separate from clams. Stir the picada into the liquid to thicken, then stir the mixture back through the clams. Serve straight away.


Wine match                                                                          

Clams (and all seafood) pair perfectly with Spanish white albarino. It’s a magical marriage. If you can’t find this less common wine, other options are a dry rose or sauvignon blanc.

Smith & Sheth ‘Cru’ Albarino, Hawke’s Bay would be great with this dish.

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